The looming German capacity crunch


By Paul Homewood


The looming German capacity crunch

The German Energiewende has supported impressive growth in renewables since its inception. Wind and solar now accounts for 47% of German capacity. A renewed policy emphasis on renewables means this percentage is set to increase significantly over the new few years, with new targets of 98GW of solar, 20GW of offshore wind and 73GW of onshore wind by 2030.

Set against this growth in intermittent generation is a rapid reduction in installed firm capacity. 16GW of nuclear, coal and lignite closures are scheduled by the end of 2022, 29GW by 2030.

The German policy narrative is for renewables growth to offset the closure of nuclear, coal & lignite capacity… but the numbers tell a different story. In this article we examine the net effect of these two contrasting capacity changes and set out why we see a looming capacity crunch.

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