30% of Germany's Electricity is Green

Shoots up to 70% on sunny, windy days

#Environment

Tue, Nov 4th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

In just a little over a decade, Germany was able to replace 31% of its electricity production that relied on nuclear and fossil fuels with green power. Rather than investing in gigantic centralised power plants, electricity is produced by a whole bunch of people — from as small as an individual to as big as a business, town or co-op — who then sell their power to the national grid. And the system works so well, more and more people are jumping on board.

The locally based, citizen-led transition is doing more than just upend the energy market -- it's also enriching local economies. A study conducted by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research, an independent German think tank, shows that green energy sales deposited $22.1 billion into the coffers of municipalities like Schwäbisch Hall in 2012, and knock-on business another $31 billion. Germany's municipalities saved an estimated $7.8 billion in oil, coal, and gas that they didn't have to import, and a good chunk of the 380,000 Energiewende-related jobs in Germany stem from local enterprises. Municipal utilities are one of the Energiewende's pillars. All of which might explain why politicians from several of Germany's parties have said that when in their home districts -- even traditionally arch conservative places, like rural Bavaria -- their constituents call for more Energiewende.

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