Friday, June 21, 2024

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Germany Is Embracing Solar Energy to Keep the Lights On

It’s no secret that Europe is facing a major gas crisis because Russia is beginning to send less gas to Europe. Germany relies heavily on Russia for oil and is directly connected thanks to the Nord Stream pipeline.

In fact, it gets nearly 30% of its entire energy from Russian oil.

And that has forced Germany to get power from other sources. This even includes reopening closed coal plants to pump out energy. More importantly, Germany’s solar industry is growing rapidly. In the first six months of this year, solar installations increased by 22%!

This is understandable as the government already provides incentives to purchase this technology. As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, energy bills are rising. However, this rapid expansion is beginning to face problems, namely labor shortages.

Nevertheless, even this rapid increase in solar energy is not enough to end the energy crunch.

Germany Is On the Frontlines of the Energy Crisis

Having your main source of energy reduced in a short span of time does not give a nation enough time to properly counteract it. All European nations are facing this problem, however, the effects are not evenly distributed.

Some nations were already well on their way to expanding their renewable energy capabilities. Or got it from other sources, like France and its nuclear sector.

So, how is Germany responding? Well, the government is asking all residents to use less energy. Yet, some places are taking it a step further. The city of Hanover made headlines by becoming the first city to ban hot water in public buildings.

On top of everything, many cities began shutting off outside lights to conserve energy overnight. Thanks to cuts like these, temporarily reopening coal plants, and new solar installations, Germany has managed to keep the lights on, though, things could get worse.

After all, Russia could cut off all oil entirely. And that would definitely result in a brutal winter for all of Europe.

Nations Must Become Energy Independent With Renewable Energy

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The gas struggle in Europe is the clearest example of why nations need to stop relying on fossil fuels. It puts nations at the mercy of oil-rich nations.

Renewable energy can change all of that. Once the structures are built and installed, that’s it. They require no input outside of natural resources and a little bit of maintenance. This helps everyone enjoy the benefits of stable prices.

And of course, we can’t talk about renewables without mentioning climate change.

Switching away from fossil fuels will help reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, and help prevent air pollution. This is partially responsible for common respiratory diseases like Asthma. Yet, there’s no denying this transition takes time.

Because Germany and Europe as a whole have become dependent on Russian oil, it limits their ability to respond when things go wrong, like in Ukraine. It gives Russia a tremendous amount of influence, and after being warned for decades, it’s finally come to pass.

There’s no excuse to continue using fossil fuels when cleaner and cheaper technology exists.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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