Germany to kickstart expansion of renewable energy amid sharply cutting imports from Russia
Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the war was another reason for Europe’s biggest economy to double down on its efforts to expand the use of renewable energy.
Published: 07th July 2022 03:07 PM | Last Updated: 07th July 2022 03:07 PM | A+A A-
BERLIN: German lawmakers were poised Thursday to approve a major package of reforms aimed at boosting the production of renewable power, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that the country has for too long relied on energy supplies from Russia.
The government unveiled its 600-page “Easter package” in April, less than two months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine escalated the simmering energy crisis between Moscow and western European neighbours, many of which were buyers of Russian fossil fuels.
Germany has sharply reduced its energy imports from Russia in recent months. The government aims to end the purchase of Russian coal and oil this year, and of natural gas by 2024.
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Scholz said late Wednesday that the war was another reason for Europe’s biggest economy to double down on its efforts to expand the use of renewable energy.
“Germany has relied for too long and too unilaterally on energy supplies from Russia,” he said at a renewable energy industry event in Berlin. “Today, we have to realize that Russia is using energy as a weapon. After all, no one believes that Russia is reducing its gas supplies for technical reasons alone.”
Scholz’s government recently pledged to rapidly accelerate the installation of sun and wind power facilities, setting a target of generating 80% of Germany’s gross electricity use from renewable energy by 2030, and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from all sources to ‘net zero’ by 2045.
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Economists have questioned whether those goals are achievable with current measures.
“If we want to keep energy affordable in the long term, if we want to reconcile supply security and climate protection, then this is only possible with renewable energies,” said Scholz. “That’s why we need to kick the expansion of renewables into high gear now.”