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Germany Neglects Renewables, Set to Miss 2020 Climate Goals

solar panel

While the newly installed German government grapples with divisions over migration policies in its first 100 days of office, its inaction on energy policies and climate goals is angering utilities, traditional energy companies, renewables firms, and environmentalists, all of whom want clear-cut targets on climate actions and emissions reductions, to lower economic uncertainties for companies from all sectors.

Earlier this month, the German government conceded that the country is on track on miss its 2020 climate goal targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990. Due to the economic boom, immigration, and high carbon emissions from the transport sector, Germany is on track to cut emissions compared to 1990 by 32 percent—an 8-percentage-point gap short of the goal.

Companies from all energy sectors and environmental organizations have criticized the German government for failing to clearly state future policies, incentives, renewables targets, and emissions targets.

Germany has been lately slowing down climate action “domestically and at the European level,” Simone Peter, president of the Renewable Energy Federation, told Clean Energy Wire.

The uncertainties over the German energy policies are a liability for companies who can’t adequately plan for spending and capacities without a clear picture of the energy and emissions policies, according to Peter.

“We are at a standstill, and we cannot afford this,” Stefan Kapferer, the head of the German utility association BDEW, told Clean Energy Wire.

Related: OPEC Edges Closer To Production Agreement

At present, the German energy industry is putting in more effort to advance energy transition than the German government, Kapferer said.

“The grand coalition has to finally take climate action seriously and walk the talk,” Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock told the Clean Energy Wire. “The climate crisis won’t be stopped by declarations of intent and by holding workshops.”

Last year, oil and gas use in Germany increased, but so did the share of renewable energy in its energy mix. Renewables accounted for 13.1 percent of the German energy mix in 2017, up from 12.5 percent share for 2016, according to German research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). The highest increase among renewable energy was registered by wind power, whose consumption jumped by 34 percent.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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