Germany approves legislation aimed at increasing renewable energy

Germany plans to generate more than 40 percent of it's energy through renewable energy sources by 2025.

The German government has approved legislation that will increase the amount of energy the country produces with renewable resources. As a result, Germany now plans to generate more than 40 percent of it's energy through renewable energy sources by 2025.

Germany currently generates 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. However, the fast-paced growth of wind and solar energy has increased the price of energy for consumers. Consumers paid extra surcharges that funded the renewable projects. The new legislation delays a higher surcharge until 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Energy prices in the country have risen every year since 2000 and are among the highest in Europe. The German government believes keeping prices from soaring is crucial for long term expansion as well as to retain support for the renewable energy movement.

The plan in the new legislation will actually slow the expansion of solar and wind slightly to steady rising prices, the Time reported. The legislation allows for only 2.5 gigawatts of wind and solar energy to be added each year, and no more than 6.5 gigawatts from offshore wind by 2020.

More information on solar power in Europe can be found at PennEnergy's research area

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