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German State to Reach 100% Renewable Power This Year
Germany recently smashed three solar energy records in just two weeks and set a new overall renewables record last month with 74 percent clean energy use during the middle of the day. Now the Federal Republic’s northernmost — and windiest — state of Schleswig-Holstein is set to generate all of its electricity from green energy this year. The state, which borders Denmark and the North and Baltic Seas, has a goal to generate 300 percent of its electricity needs from renewables.
Eight years ago Schleswig-Holstein only produced around 30 percent of its power from wind, so getting to the 100 percent mark in such a short amount of time is a significant achievement. According to a 2011 report on the economic impact of wind energy in the state, Schleswig-Holstein provided 11.4 percent of Germany’s total installed capacity with 3,271 megawatts from 2,705 turbines. A German Wind Energy Association report projects that by 2030 offshore wind capacity could reach up to 25,000 MW and onshore could get up to 6,000 MW.
Schleswig-Holstein is home to more than 200 businesses in the wind energy sector with around 7,000 employees. As of 2010, wind power in Germany provided more than 96,000 jobs and that figure is expected to increase as the nation commits to phasing out nuclear energy and replacing it with renewables.
While Schleswig-Holstein aims to become the first of Germany’s 16 states to pass the 300 percent renewables mark, a Bavarian village has already blown past that milestone. In 2011, Wildpoldsried produced a whopping 321 percent of its electricity from clean energy, generating four million Euro (US $5.7 million) in revenue by selling it back to the national grid.
Images via Shutterstock
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