Germany is the world’s third largest market for renewable energy investment which totalled $31billion in 2011. Sixty-five percent of investment in Germany was directed toward solar, with 29 percent ($8.5 billion) directed to wind. In addition, 700 MW of biomass capacity was added in 2011.
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. In 2010, the majority ($29 billion) of cleantech investment came from corporate investors across all sectors of the economy, including farmers, energy utilities, and industrial and commercial enterprises.
Private households invested a significant $18.25 billion. 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.
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.
In the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced from renewable resource rose from 20% to 25%, bringing Germany closer to its targets of 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. According to figures released by the government agency Germany Trade and Invest, 38% of the electricity produced by renewable energy during that period was through wind power, and almost 16% from solar.
Salman is a prolific environmental writer, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management, sustainability and conservation all over the world.
Salman can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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