Germany may be the developed country doing the most to expand the share of renewable energy it uses for electricity generation. Partly as a consequence of feed-in tariffs (where power distributors are obliged to buy energy from renewable facilities at set prices), renewables now represent about 15% of Germany’s electricity supply, much of that from wind. Since 2008, the quantity of solar energy employed in Germany has doubled.
Unfortunately, budgetary concerns may lead to the scaling back of the initiative. While it is fair enough to say that there are cheaper ways to fight greenhouse gas emissions than putting solar cells in Germany, it is also meaningful to highlight that the whole world will eventually need to transition to the use of renewable forms of energy. By helping to determine the political and technical measures necessary to do that, pioneers like Germany are doing a favour for those who will follow after.
For instance, feed-in tariffs are an important part of Ontario’s Green Energy Act.