Germany has the best record of all EU15 countries that have promised to reduce CO2 emissions under the Kyoto protocol, with a reduction of 24.8% from 1990 to 2010.
Now the “Agentur für Erneuerbare Energien”, a public relations effort financed by the German government and the renewable energy industry, has published some new numbers for 2011.
According to their figures, in 2011 renewable energy has avoided 130 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Germany.
That’s more than 10% of the 1990 value of 1246.1 tonnes. Without renewable energy, it would have been impossible to lead the EU15 countries in CO2 reductions, while at the same time leading the world in exports.
In contrast, the United States has seen CO2 emissions fall by about 7.5% in the first three months of 2012 because of a switch from coal to gas. But they still are higher than 1990, so the United States loses out by far to Germany in CO2 reductions.
Very likely, Germany has the best reduction record of any large developed country. And renewable energy is absolutely vital to that success.
Two thirds of that come from the electricity sector. That shows that while the feed-in tariff system may not have been the cheapest way to achieve success, it certainly has been moving things in the right direction.
And that’s with only 20% of electricity coming from renewable last year. This year that is up to 25%, and the goal of 35% for 2020 will be reached in 2014 at that exponential pace of growth.