The government's been aggressively touting solar, wind and other renewable sources, but those depend on the fickle weather. Until just four years ago, Germany depended on nuclear power for more than 20% of its total electricity output.
Coal currently accounts for over 40% of Germany's total electricity production. However it is the only source for constant and stable supplies of power.
NHK World (yes, the Japanese) quote an expert:
“If Germany cannot reach its greenhouse gas emission reduction target, developing nor emerging nations won't follow us,” says Sigmar Gabriel, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. “Then the international contribution toward global warming will collapse.”
Read all about it here.
The government has proposed new penalties on the operators of plants that pollute most, specifically those that are over 20 years old. Such utilities will need to buy extra carbon credits for their breaches or face closure.
Unions oppose it all, claiming the government's rules will cost 100,000 jobs. The government pushes industry and unions toward renewable energy, but resistance is strong.
This year Germany will announce plans to limit coal power. The nation confronts the twin headaches of environmental targets and sustaining its economy. And did we mention, they are forcing decreased use of power while at the same time increasing the rates 12.5%?
Forebodings for our own future are here…
Photo: Wolfro54 on Flickr