Germany is one of the world’s third largest market for renewable energy investment which totalled $15.2 billion in 2016. Germany spent 25 billion euros ($26 billion) on renewable energy in 2016, most of which—23 billion euros— consumers paid through a surcharge on their electricity bills.
Germany’s plan to phase out all 17 of its nuclear power plants and shift to renewable energy by 2022 is the largest infrastructure investment program in Europe since World War II. The country’s transition from nuclear energy-based power network to renewable energy systems will require investments of much as $55 billion by 2030.
The country offers generous feed-in-tariffs for investors across all renewable energy segments which is attracting huge private capital in cleantech investments. A big chunk of cleantech investment is contributed by corporate investors across all sectors of the economy, including farmers, energy utilities, and industrial and commercial enterprises.
Small-scale renewable energy projects, such as residential solar photovoltaic installations, represented 75% of all investment in renewable energy, while large-scale projects accounted for the remaining 25%. Small-scale projects, on account of booming rooftop PV installation, attracted $20 billion investments.
Germany’s wind energy industry is one of the world’s largest, and it is at the forefront of technological development. Over half of all wind turbines in Germany are owned by local residents, farmers and local authorities which have tremendously improved the acceptance of wind turbines among local communities as they directly profit. Currently Germany is ranked third worldwide in installed total wind capacity with its share of total domestic electricity production forecasted to reach 25 percent by 2025.
Germany continues to set standards in solar power generation and had record 1.3 million solar photovoltaic systems installed in Germany in 2012, most of them being rooftop installations, which covered the annual electricity consumption of eight million households. Infact, success of community-owned wind farms and rooftop solar PV installations in Germany has catalyzed such initiatives in other parts of the world.
Biomass energy is making a significant contribution to renewable energy supply in Germany and accounts for about 5.5 percent of the total electricity production in the country. Germany is the market leader in biogas technology and is also Europe’s biggest biogas producer. Last year around 7,600 systems with a cumulative capacity of 3,200 MW generated 21.9 billion kWh in the country, thus consolidating Germany’s status as a pioneer in clean energy technologies.
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