Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 88

86 | 87 ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE Although down slightly since 2007, electricity Germany in third place behind China and consumption also needs to be reduced: fur- the USA in terms of nameplate capacity. ther efforts are needed to reach the goal of a 10-percent reduction by 2020 outlined in the The Renewable Energy Sources Act original energy concept. an international benchmark The Energy Reform seeks not only to mini- Regarded in several countries as a bench- mise risks, but also to enhance climate-com- mark, the Renewable Energy Sources Act patible energy consumption and high supply (EEG) was amended in 2014. The aim was to security. The dynamic development of re- ensure that the population and business newable energies has meant an increase in could afford energy, and that its supply was the proportion of carbon dioxide-free energy guaranteed. The background: As a result of in the electricity mix. In 2014, green electri- the strong increase in the number of solar city had a 26 percent share of gross electricity power systems and a different method of cal- generation, and in the first six months of culation, after 2009 there was a considerable 2015 it accounted for 32.5 percent of total increase in what is known as the EEG cost electricity consumption. On sunny work levy, whereby the increased cost of expand- days, solar PV plants can cover up to 25 per- ing green electricity is passed on to con- cent of electricity demand, and on Sundays sumers on a pro-rated basis. This sparked a and public holidays even as much as half. public debate on the cost of green electricity Moreover, 38.7 percent of all new residential and the  Energy Reform. A fall in this share in buildings are already heated with renewable the costs was seen in 2015 for the first time. energies. In early 2015, there were 1.5 million The Federal Government is also working on solar PV systems installed, generating ap- re-designing the structure of the electricity prox. 38.5 gigawatts in rated power, putting market to ensure stable supplies despite a Electricity generation In 2014 electricity generated from renewable energies increased yet again and accounted for 26 percent of gross electricity generation in Germany. Gross electricity generation in 2014 26 % Lignite 9% Wind power 7% Biomass 4% Other sources 10 % Natural gas 16 % Nuclear power 18 % Hard coal 26 % Renewable sources 6% 3% 1% Solar PV Hydroelectricity Household Source: Federal Statistical Office DIAGRAM