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News Picks : Germany sets precedent for renewable energy use

By: Physics Today
15 August 2014

Climate Progress: Among the developed countries of the world, Germany is proving to be very successful at making the switch to renewable energy sources for its electricity production. That effort was reflected in the first half of 2014, when the country managed to generate one-third of its electrical power from renewables. That is a remarkable accomplishment in view of the fact that most renewables are inherently intermittent: The Sun only shines during the day, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Moreover, Germany's electrical power grid has proven to be very reliable: Since 2008 the average number of minutes that electricity was lost per customer each year has been less than 16—far less than in any other country in Europe or the US. However, the switch has not come without a price: Germans pay more for their electricity. Regardless, the country remains committed to getting 80% of its power from renewables by 2050.

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