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Germany Gets Sweeping Environmental Energy Package

Germany’s governing cabinet has agreed upon a historic more-than-500-page set of draft legislation and policy changes aimed at completely remaking the country’s energy landscape and economy.

The measures, decided upon on April 6, go a long way to fulfilling the government’s pledge to present an “Easter package” to achieve Germany’s climate and energy-security goals and follow the parameters set out in its coalition agreement.

The package now heads for ratification to the German parliament, the Bundestag, where the governing coalition enjoys a healthy majority. When passed, it will cement in law Germany’s drive to decarbonize and to great increase the security of its energy supplies.

“The Easter package is a part of our agenda and was formulated with great urgency in recent months,” said German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck in a statement. “In light of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in contravention of international law, the package has become doubly urgent. On the one hand, the climate crisis is coming to a head. On the other, Russia’s invasion shows how important it is to commit ourselves to phasing out fossil fuels and continue to expand renewables.”

„We have literally never seen a legislative initiative like this in Germany.“ says Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) Director of Energy, Construction and Environmental Technologies Thomas Grigoleit. „The speed with which the government has gotten the ball rolling shows how serious it is about its climate and energy agenda.“

„It’s a signal – and an invitation to international businesses to take part in the breathtaking transformations Germany is set to undergo in the months to come.“ 

Here are some of the major aspects of the cabinet’s package (based on analysis by the German Energy Agency).

Renewable energy as a matter of security

The expansion of renewable power sources has been declared a matter of national interest and public security. Renewables will thus receive priority consideration on decisions including those related to environmental protection. National standards have been agreed to balance the need for expanded wind-generated electricity and nature conservation and air transport security.

New targets, accelerated timetables for clean electricity

Germany’s will strive to get 80 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 – compared to the previous target of 65 percent. The government has added the goal of making the country’s electricity sector essentially greenhouse-gas-neutral by 2035.

More wind and PV power

The prescribed amounts for onshore wind power have been raised to 10 GW as of 2025 and 115 GW by 2030 and for photovoltaics to 22 GW as of 2026 and 215 GW by 2030. Targets for off-shore wind power have been raised to 30 GW in 2030, 40 GW in 2035 und 70 GW in 2045. Subsidies for rooftop PV installations will be increased, particularly if they feed the electricity generated completely into the grid. Self-generated electricity and heat pumps will be freed from supplemental tariffs intended to promote the use of renewables. Bureaucracy concerning the construction of wind and PV facility will be dramatically reduced.

Higher priority for hydrogen

A new rubric “Renewables + Hydrogen” will be created for public tenders. New biomethane and combined heat and power (CHP) facilities will be required to be hydrogen ready.

Building and heating standards and incentives

A goal of at least 50 percent of climate-neutral heat has been set for district heating networks by 2030. Efficiency standard 55 will become mandatory for new constructions as of next year.

Improved power grids

36 new measures will be instituted to expand and strengthen Germany’s power grid. Planning will henceforth work toward the goal of creating a “climate neutrality network.”

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