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How Germany Is Moving Ahead with Its Green Energy Goals

07 Jan 10:00 by Steve Walia

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Over 40pc of Germany's electricity consumption now comes from renewable sources - primarily wind power with solar energy increasing in importance after a hot summer. However, over 50pc of the country's needs are still being met by fossil fuels. In comparison, the UK is now only using 28pc of fossil fuels, and Costa Rica is in a different league!

Costa Rica has invested extremely heavy in renewable energy sources and already powers its increasing proportion of electric cars with renewable sources. In fact, 99pc of the country's total electricity needs now come from hydroelectricity (78pc), wind and geothermal (10pc each) and then a combination of bioenergy and solar at just under 1pc each.

Germany's government wants the country to produce 65% of its total power requirements from green sources by 2030, and it is looking at Power-to-X, where green electricity produced in abundance by solar or wind conditions can be converted to other uses. This includes electricity to gas, heat, fuels or chemical products.

The country is working to investigate the possibilities of these transformative technologies in order to produce a highly flexible energy mix that works within Germany's energy market, growing system and grid. The main focus will be the transformation of solar- and wind-generated electricity into energy sources for the industrial and transport sectors.

The hope is that the use of these technologies can further help to drive down greenhouse gases whilst boosting energy security of supply, protecting the grid and meeting diverse customer needs. Scientists have already trialled methods to capture and utilise carbon where electric currents are used to produce hydrogen, which can then be fed into the production of chemical raw CO2 fuels. The next focus will be on the production of 'green' chemicals for industrial uses.