The Government promotes legislative changes to abandon hydrocarbons as soon as possible and double the contribution of clean resources in just eight years. “It is more urgent than ever,” says the Minister of Economy and Climate

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made it clear to the German government that energy policy is also part of geopolitics. While the first public complaints are beginning to be heard for having cultivated a pernicious dependence on Russian hydrocarbons for decades, Berlin is making a move and accelerating the expansion of renewable energies. More solar and wind, less fossil fuels, and as soon as possible. The war has shown that the growth of green energy “is more urgent than ever,” says the Minister of Economy and Climate, the green Robert Habeck.

Ending Russian energy imports as soon as possible has become one of Habeck’s main concerns. But without losing sight of the fact that the medium-term objective is to dispense with all hydrocarbons. The minister presented this Wednesday a package of measures to speed up the construction of wind farms and photovoltaic plants throughout the country. Laws will have to be modified and resistance overcome, because the objective is ambitious: Germany wants to obtain 80% of its energy from renewable sources in 2030. It means doubling the contribution of green energies in just eight years, from the current 41%. The previous target for that date was 65%.

In five more years, in 2035, all electricity should already be produced with renewables, according to Habeck’s plans. The package of measures “lays the foundation for Germany to become a climate-neutral country,” the minister said. Germany set by law, still with Angela Merkel in power, the goal of climate neutrality for 2045, five years before the forecast managed by the European Union. She did so after a Constitutional ruling that forced greater ambition in the fight against the climate emergency and months after elections marked by the push of the Greens, who ended up entering the new coalition government.

The expansion of renewables cannot replace Russian coal, oil and gas imports in the short term, but the Executive of the Social Democrat Olaf Scholz has proposed to take advantage of the crisis situation to give a boost to the energy transformation. Berlin has given its approval to include the Russian coal embargo in the next package of sanctions against Moscow that the European Union is preparing. Oil will follow in second place and, finally, gas, the most difficult to replace. Scholz has urged European partners to take advantage of the unity they have managed to forge after the invasion of Ukraine to undertake energy reforms. The EU “must be independent of fossil resources,” he said Wednesday in the Bundestag.

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