However, this must not lead to a higher renewables levy, he said.
P.Altmaier also tried to alleviate worries that the country's coal exit law – which guarantees a phase out by 2038 at the latest – would keep coal alive longer than necessary:
- If the market manages to phase out coal faster, then the law will neither hinder nor delay that.
Germany is one of a handful of countries globally to have enshrined the goal of climate neutrality by or before 2050 in its national law.
Germany's allocated emission reduction target is set at minus 14 % by 2020 and minus 38 % by 2030.
The expert commission in charge of the country’s energy transition - Energiewende monitoring report dated February 3, 2020, said:
- Germany must rapidly step up its national climate and energy targets to bring efforts in line with new EU-wide goals
- it means that Germany has to raise its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to 65 % from 55 %.
Andreas Löschel, Head of the German government commission tasked with Energiewende monitoring, told Clean Energy Wire:
- The speed we had in recent years is not sufficient for the next 10 years if we want to reach the 2030 targets, especially in energy efficiency but also in transport and renewables
- We estimate that a European 55 % climate target means that we have to raise our national target towards 65 %, and that the share of renewables will probably rather be 70 %
- Renewables expansion will sharply accelerate, and we will likely have a faster coal exit due to higher CO₂ allowance prices. We may have largely phased it out by the end of the 2020s
More than 40 % of the country's power consumption was covered by renewables in 2019, exceeding the 2020 target of 35 % one year ahead of time. The government is now taking aim at 65 % by 2030, as is stated in its Climate Action Programme 2030.
Leaders of EU member states in December, 2020, agreed to increase the EU 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to at least 55 %, but the target has yet to be negotiated with the European Parliament, which demands even more ambition.
Raising the target will require a set of actions across all sectors of the economy, and the EC plans to present proposals to reform all major energy and climate legislation by June 2021 – the «Fit for 55 package».