Renewable Energy Works in Germany, and Elsewhere?


Germany - Renewable Energy vs Gross Domestic Product
Germany – Renewable Energy vs Gross Domestic Product

We’ve done a lot of coverage on renewable energy adoption in various places, but it seems that there is a lot of counter-coverage, to which Energiewende says “enough is enough.”

Energiewende, German for “energy transition,” isn’t anything new, but actually got its start back in the 1970s. The oil crisis got people thinking about where their energy comes from, and the nuclear disaster in 1986 was a worldwide shock, no less shocking to those who live in Germany, a nation of about 78 million at the time (combining East- and West-German figures). Forward-thinking people made a push for other forms of energy, especially renewable energy, to ensure energy independence and safety. It wasn’t until years, perhaps decades, when the link between fossil fuels and climate change was apparent, an additional push to adopt renewable energy.

At the same time, clean energy and renewable energy opponents spread their fuzzy math and, at times, outright lies, encouraging businesses, governments, and individuals to ignore the “hype” and stick with fossil fuels. Their arguments hold very little water. For example, some opponents say that switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy will cost jobs and lead to economic shrinkage. The graph above, from the German Energy Transition website, shows exactly the opposite is true. In the last twenty years, 1991 being the reference point, the German GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has risen by 28%. At the same time, German GHG (greenhouse gas emissions) have dropped by 22%. Just for comparison, the United States GDP has risen by 61% over the last twenty years, her GHG emissions increasing by a few percentage points at the same time.

The difference is clear, and that’s just one point that Energiewende is trying to make, the opponents are wrong, plain and simple.

Image © Energiewende

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