A Discussion on the Issues Related Energy Policy in Germany

Due to the mounting concern that arises due to the climate change, the governments are put under pressure by introducing the energy renewable sources with the aim of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Germany is the only country that has cuddled the challenge more fervently. Germany is doing this under the energy policy which is known as Energiewende. Energiewende mission is to eradicate the use of carbonized energy sources and embrace Germany's electricity of about 80% by the year 2050. The government of Gerhard Schroder, was the one that launched the Energiewende in 2000, when it made an announcement for subsidies to be given to any company which was involved in the production of the green energy. The transition was accelerated in 2011 by Angela Merkel after the nuclear disaster of Fukushima. The transitions were further emphasized by prompt shutting down of eight out of seventeen nuclear reactors firms. It was done together with the announcement of shutting the remaining nuclear reactors by 2022 by the Germany Chancellor. However, due to the mission of Germany eradicating the nuclear energy sources by going with its energy policy, it is being faced with two primary problems. The first problem is the unreliability of renewables. The other issue is in energy supply in Germany due to nuclear energy exit which may take years to be solved. My essay will focus on the energy policy in Germany and how it has contributed to the growth of the country.

The strategy of de-carbonization which is strictly put in place by the Germany government will lead to a decreased demand for energy by a significant energy efficiency and contributing towards maximum use of renewable energy sources. In a view of the Germany technical and chemical superiority that is over other fossils fuels. The gas would make a primary contribution to its policy of de-carbonization in the period of transition which is estimated to be up to 2050 (Bechberger 110). The Germany policy of energy has been driven since 1990 by the raising consensus to de-carbonize its energy sector through renewables and efficiency which was after Fukushima disaster in the year 2011. The first monitoring annual report provided by the government was delivered in 2012 which was about the Energiewende implementation. A more analytical approach report that showed the progress of the energy policy in Germany was done last year. Though there was a problem to the economy that was caused by Energiewende. It is the problem of passing the government subsidies directly to consumers. It results in the German households paying twice as their fellow families from the United States pay. In a period of four years after the embracement of Energiewende, the prices have been rising for more than 30% (Bechberger 28). It leads to the increase in the burden of competitiveness. Many Germans have the belief that, the Energiewende policy project which is exciting and will leave the country citizens enjoying the most sustainable, greenest, and cheapest supplies of energy.  However, these are just long term goals. In the short run, the Germany's energy policy only tends to result in paying higher energy bills by their citizens and more pollution of the environment.

However, there has been confusion between which methods to embrace in order to have adequate power supply in Germany. One of the methods is, by embracing gas-fired capacity which will be used for load balancing which we have doubt whether in it power supply reliability. On the other hand is, by producing electricity by using the gas-fired capacity replace lignite or coal that will lead to the reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide (Detlef 391). The government will select between the two major ways of providing energy supply which will solve the problem of energy supply and going side by side with the new energy policy. The gas method of energy production is the one which is superior to the other fossil fuels. However, by using the gas it will only be available for a short period throughout the year; hence we will be faced again with unreliable energy supply in Germany again. For example, if 25,000 MW of Germany's capacity of gas-fired is to be run at 4,000hrs/year rather than being run by 2,000hrs/year. There will be a resulting difference which will be about 20million tcoz/year (Bechberger 120). It will affect the total supply of energy in Germany which is about 800million tCO2/year. It will lead to a gas-fired production which is below that of coal-fired production of power.

The new red-green energy policy was emphasized by the Federal Government since it supported the climate change policy and ecological modernization and was acting as the leading energy policy. The policy was in inclusion of eradication of nuclear power use, tax reform on energy, combined power and heat and renewable energy sources strengthening. In the second phase, there was the reform of the Act on Energy Supply and together with Association Agreements that followed. These were in response to a court judgment in 2003 that tended to rule on illegal Associations Agreement (Brechin 107). It led to the Germany government agreeing to the provision of obligatory regulator in the 2003 directive of electricity, that its implementations took place later in 2004. Within the agreement of the European burden-sharing and the Kyoto Protocol, Germany was committed to a reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) emissions by 21% from the year 1990 to 2012. It was in addition to the government pledging a 25% Carbon Dioxide emissions by 2005. There was some achievement made in 2000, whereby there was a reduction from 18 percent to 20 percent which corresponded to a change from 180 to 200 Carbon Dioxide million tons. The gap to be covered amounted from 50 to 70 million of the tons to be reduced further. It was to be wholly achieved by the body of government known as the Action Programme of Climate Change Policy, which was found in October 2000 (Brechin 125). Its integral parts were both the CHP Act and RESA. Government support for the above policies has a likelihood of persisting in the near future. The field has been given high priority by the Germany's government which usually holds numerous conferences on climate change. Going into the politics of the Germany, the above two action packages will probably achieve the reductions of Carbon Dioxide use and nuclear energy eradication, where all the other measures are not real about it.

In the sense of increasing the energy efficiency, the Combined Power and Heat policy is embraced by the Germany government. The new acts for supporting of the plants with Combined Power and Heat for public power supply was enforced in April, 2002. It was for creating incentives that were for modernization which was to be until 2010 (Lutz 183). These led to Carbon Dioxide reduction of some eleven million tons. Other policies were created to achieve the role of increasing the energy efficiency such as the policy of Energy Savings Ordinance. The policy was enforced in February, 2002. The policy set energy requirement total at 30% of the new buildings which was below the current standards. For the old buildings, the heating systems exchange and insulation requirements were to be described.

In line with the new energy policy in Germany, the 100,000 Programme of Roof was to be put in place. The programme involved the use of solar photovoltaics, which up to 1990 has not yet developed. New impulses by the red-green government were to be provided. Since the design of the new regulation feed-in was to take much time for its implementation, there was the adoption in 1999 of another programme of the wind 100 MW and the roof programme (Detlef 391). The programme provided loans with a reduced interests such that people were able to install PV roofs. The programme's primary goal was to achieve 300 MW capacity of all installations. The programme took place gradually until the introduction of RESA, which boosted it. By the year 2003, the two measures already had led to 350 MW installations. At that development of PV took over that led to improvement of feed-in tariffs (Lutz 179).

In conclusion, we have seen that the energy policy in Germany can be traced back to 20th century. The industrial states of Germany in the 20th century was without oil resources and large oil corporation. It was within this time that Germany relied with a particular intensity that was on domestic coal where it later embraced nuclear energy. Politically and economically, nuclear power and coal nursed to dimensions which were impressive during the 1970s energy crises. But this policy led to the rise of anti-nuclear movements and intense controversies in 1970. It also led to a substantial movement of the environmental in the 1980s. It resulted in green ideas spreading throughout the society and the first Europe Green Party. The counter-movement above viewed the sources of renewable energy as just nuclear plutonium economy alternatives, rather than an additional source. Due to the pressure raised by this movement, the governments reluctantly supported renewable energy sources development on a scale that was modest when it was in comparison to the funds spent on nuclear power and coal. The installation of German wind power represents of about a third of today's total stock worldwide. The figure tends to be similarly impressive for the solar photovoltaics. All this capacity put together with hydro, are the one concerned in the production of about less than 10% of electricity in Germany today. There are plans put forward as well to reach 50 percent by mid-century. Also, Germany took place in the development of the wind turbine that is second to the one in Denmark, and an industry of PV appearing second to the one of Japan. These industries have made Germany have expectations of eradicating the use of nuclear energy as well as cuddling the use of renewable sources.

References

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