Germany’s Green Energy Revolution Fails Its Climate Goal

  • Date: 03/09/15
  • Daniel Wetzel, Die Welt

More than one million solar energy projects and 25,000 wind turbines are obviously not enough: Despite Germany’s green energy revolution, the federal government’s climate targets cannot be achieved. This is the result of the most recent update of the so-called Energiewende-Index by consulting firm McKinsey. 


Since 2012 a group of experts around McKinsey director Thomas Vahlenkamp has been assessing every six months whether the federal government’s goal of its self-imposed targets of its energy and climate policy are achieved. Die Welt has obtained the latest score: the picture brightens only in some secondary objectives. 

The decisive climate policy goal of the Energiewende, however, cannot be achieved: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 is “unrealistic”, says the report. Any improvement is not in sight either, the authors conclude: “The prospects for a turnaround by 2020 are permanently bad.” 

Setback for the federal government 

For the federal government, the new assessment is embarrassing: Recently the government announced additional measures that would help achieve the 40% target. A “National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency” was one of them. In addition, it announced a shift from around the clock lignite-fired power generation to a coal reserve capacity. None of these measures is likely to achieve its goal. 

“Additional savings of 181 megatons of CO2 are still needed,” the McKinsey report concludes: “In order to achieve the 2020 target, the average annual CO2 reduction rate would have to approximately quadrupled from now compared to the period 2000-2014.” 

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