German economy and energy minister Robert Habeck. Photo: Shutterstock.com

ELECTRICITY | RENEWABLES

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German cabinet agrees on renewables expansion package

(Montel) Germany’s cabinet on Wednesday agreed on legislation to speed up the country’s renewables expansion and reach an 80% renewables share in the power mix by 2030, as opposed to a 65% target previously.

The plans include a solar target of 215 GW by 2030, 15 GW higher than previously planned, as well as an onshore wind target of 115 GW in 2030, 5 GW more than previously planned.

They also included a target to quadruple the country’s offshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2030, from 20 GW previously.

The government also raised its power demand expectations for Germany to 750 TWh by the turn of the decade, up from 715 TWh in a previous draft.

“Need for urgency”

There was a need for “urgency” due to “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”, said economy and energy minister Robert Habeck.

The country was intent on reaching its climate goals and shaking off its dependency on fossil fuels, notably from Russia amid its war on Ukraine, he added in a statement.

Germany aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2045 but currently is heavily dependent on mostly imported fossil fuels, with Russia its biggest supplier of gas, oil and coal.

The government plans to reach its offshore wind targets with a new contracts for difference subsidy scheme.

In addition, there would be a specific segment for power purchase agreement projects where Germany would tender areas in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea for non-subsidised projects, the draft legislation showed.

The draft of more than 500 pages includes several measures to free up land, speed up permits and reduce bureaucracy for the planned renewables expansion.

Currently, the country’s solar capacity stands at 59.8 GW, while onshore wind capacity totals 56.6 GW and offshore wind 7.8 GW.