Energiewende: Germany’s Energy Transformation

Energiewende: Germany’s Energy Transformation

Energiewende: Germany’s Oil-Free and Uranium-Free Energy Transition Adventure Could Be a Lesson for Other Countries!

Germany, a great industrial power, aims to achieve an energy transformation by getting rid of fossil fuels and nuclear energy with its policies in recent years. Achieving all these goals has brought along a difficult process for a large and crowded country like Germany. The word “Energiewende”, which expresses the energy transformation aimed by Germany, was included in the book Energiewende: Wachstum und Wohlstand ohne Erdöl und Uran (Type: “Energy Conversion: Growth and Prosperity Without Oil and Uranium”), and this word gained popularity in the following period. gave the name to the process. Whether the superhuman goals set for this energy transformation process aimed by Germany can be achieved is a question mark that may affect the transformation plans of many other countries.

Germany has set three main targets for the energy transition process to be achieved by 2020:

Goal-1: to provide one third of the electricity used from renewable energies.
Goal-2: To reduce the total energy consumption by one fifth.
Goal-3: To reduce carbon emissions.
Germany, which succeeded in reaching its first goal, could not reach its second goal as of 2020. Due to the failure of the second goal, the third goal could not be fully achieved.

In this process, which is currently ongoing in Germany, it is aimed to protect the environment and produce reliable energy from sustainable sources, while it is aimed not to increase energy consumption levels and to create new job opportunities for people. Germany, which envisages closing its nuclear power facilities completely in 2022, aims to end the production facilities that use coal and similar materials as fuel by 2038. It is planned to replace the expired resources with renewable resources such as solar, hydroelectric, biofuel and wind energy.

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Biofuel plant in Feldheim
Biofuel plant in Feldheim

Legal support for the targeted energy transition was adopted in 2010. By 2050, 60% of all energy is expected to be met from renewable sources, with a greenhouse gas reduction of 85-95%. Although Germany reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 27% between 1990 and 2014, it must maintain a greenhouse gas reduction rate of 3.5% per year from 2014 to meet the Energiewende targets – which is the annual maximum achieved so far. means protection. Desiring to achieve the goals in such a short time reveals the seriousness of the problem that needs to be solved rather than whether the goals can be achieved or not.

Controversial Topic: Nuclear Energy!
The part that aroused great controversy in the public was the imbalance created by getting rid of nuclear energies first. In Germany, which has 6 nuclear reactors that were not shut down in 2020, energy from fossil fuels, which emit high levels of carbon dioxide, is still used, even if the goals of zeroing nuclear energy are mostly fulfilled.

According to the study published by N. Johnson, 1,100 human lives could be saved annually if nuclear energy targets were set aside and fossil fuel reductions were chosen instead. In another study published by O. Gersemann, it was explained that the nuclear energy process causes 12 billion dollars of damage per year (according to the 2017 Euro-Dollar exchange rate).

However, with the later decisions and the support of the public, Germany decided to continue to phase out nuclear energy, rather than the pollution caused by fossil fuels for the time being, due to the risks of nuclear power generation.

Germany’s Gamble
Describing Germany’s energy transformation process in an article he published under the title Germany’s Gamble, D. Buchan from the Oxford Energy Research Institute started his article with the following words:

Germany has set itself an extraordinary target with its energy and climate policies. It is not easy to have a growing and advanced industrial economy while moving away from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Germany is one of many countries striving for a low-carbon energy system; however, Germany is a unique example in this regard, as it has set itself a stone by phasing out nuclear power plants that do not emit carbon in 10 years. How Germany will cope with this challenge and how it will achieve the title of ‘the first industrialized country that has succeeded in transitioning to a fully renewable energy system’ is the subject of my article.

From this point of view, it can be understood that due to environmental and economic factors, Germany aims to create an independent and clean energy system by recreating its already functioning system as renewable, despite all the difficulties.

Feldheim Case
Feldheim, the only village in Germany that can meet its own energy needs, is home to wind turbine, solar panel, biogas, energy storage and chip heating facilities. This 100% carbon-neutral village eliminates the import of 160 thousand liters of oil alone. While providing commercial income from wind farms and biogas plants, it sets an economic, ecological and clean industrial example. Feldheim sets a small but effective example for the implementation of Germany’s future plans.

Feldheim'da bulunan güneş enerjisi santrali

Germany and Foreign Dependence on Petroleum
The oil used in Germany is largely imported. With its annual oil production decreasing by 5% each year, Germany produced 2.6 million tons of oil in 2013 and was able to meet only 2.8% of its own needs. According to data in 2013, Germany is 97.2% foreign-dependent with 90.4 million tons of oil imports. Germany obtains 57% of the oil it imports from England, Norway and Russia. There are eight main routes through which oil comes to Germany. Four of these routes are provided by ports (three in the North Sea, one in the Baltic Sea), and the remaining four are provided by four pipelines from abroad (carrying oil from Italy, the Netherlands, France and Russia).

Germany’s foreign dependence on oil, which still continues to produce energy with oil, also reveals the national advantages of switching to a renewable energy-based system.

As a result, this energy transformation process, which exemplifies Germany’s use of renewable energy and energy savings, is an important example for other countries, although it is challenging. This transformation, which contributes to the living of individuals in a better quality and cleaner environment, is one of the most important examples that can be used to reduce the dependence of countries on foreign energy in terms of energy.

Source: https://evrimagaci.org

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