Will Germany banish fossil fuels before the U.S.?
Below, Karr sits down with German environmental economist Claudia Kemfert, who heads the department of energy, transportation, and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research, to discuss Germany’s Energiewende:
Literally, the word Energiewende means “energy turn,” and it describes the country’s bold plan to shift from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Following Fukushima, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed Germany’s pledge to Energiewende, but insisted the country’s targets be met without the use of nuclear power. Germany’s goal now stands at 65 percent renewables on the grid by 2040 and 80 percent — the most the country believes it can achieve with existing technology — by 2050.
“The German public strongly supports renewable energy,” Kemfert said. “They strongly support the Energiewende and this is why our politicians react, and this is why German consumers are willing to pay more for electricity.”