It’s no secret that the Germans are miles ahead of the rest of the world in renewable energies. They broke world solar power generation record in July with 5.1 TWh, leaving U.S. in dust.
They are the world leaders in photovoltaics (PV) installations and by 2012 they were producing 25% of their national electricity supply from renewables. They plan to reach targets of 35% by 2020 and an impressive 80% by 2050. This works in tandem with their goal to increase energy efficiency and cut their overall use of energy by a whopping 50% by 5050.
All of this incredible commitment and progress in renewable energy sources is actually now forcing gas and coal-fired plants to close down. RWE, one of the largest energy producers in the world, has had to take 6% of their total generating capacity offline, cutting 3,100 megawatts.
“Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate,” RWE said in a statement.
RWE’s competitor, German run E.On, has also been forced to shut down 6,500 megawatts of generating capacity.
RWE explained that important government regulations have resulted in their loss of profits, as the forward-thinking German government supports and gives great incentives for the development of clean energies and energy saving initiatives. “The company said new government regulations that require energy firms to simplify their tariffs and pay for energy saving measures in consumers’ homes had weighed on profits”, BBC News reported.
The Late 60 Minutes columnist Andy Rooney