The enduring lesson from Germany’s embrace of renewable energy is that it takes time to convert an established system from fossil fuels, Greentech Media reports in a year-end review.
“Germany was one of the few countries in the world to take a no-excuses approach to developing renewable energy,” Lacey writes. “In many ways, the policies were a resounding success.”
But “Germany is also facing some hard realities. Mounting legacy costs of feed-in tariffs, increasing electricity rates, and rising CO2 emissions are raising a debate about the effectiveness of the country’s energy transition.”
Lacey argues that no one should expect an entire energy system to turn over in one decade, citing analyst Vaclav Smil of the University of Manitoba.
“The historical verdict is unassailable,” Smil writes. “Because of the requisite technical and infrastructural imperatives and because of numerous (and often entirely unforeseen) socioeconomic adjustments, energy transitions in large economies and on a global scale are inherently protracted affairs.”