Many countries talk about leaving fossil fuels behind and transitioning towards more sustainable forms of energy. But Germany is actually doing something about it. Germany has invested heavily in renewable sources of energy as part of the Energiewende initiative, designed to replace fossil fuels and nuclear power with low-carbon, environmentally-friendly alternatives by 2050. In fact, on 30 April 2017, Germany’s coal-fired plants weren’t even operating, and electricity prices fell into the negative range -- all thanks to sustainable energy from wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric power sources, which provided a record 85 percent of the country’s total power needs on that windy and sunny day.
A shift towards sustainability:
- Germany announced in May 2011 that it would shutter all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, in addition to nearly eliminating fossil fuel power.
- The country's ambitious energy transition aims for at least 80 percent of all power to come from renewable sources by 2050.
- The United Kingdom set a clean energy record in 2016 when it went coal-free for a continuous 24-hour period for the first time since the Industrial Revolution.