2018 marks the first year in Germany’s history that renewables surpassed coal as the main source of energy production. Research shows that over 40% of the nation’s energy came from renewable production methods, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydroelectric, while coal provided only 38%. Up 4.3% from 2017, renewables surpassing coal as Germany’s primary energy supply marks good progress towards the country’s goal of 65% renewable energy by 2030.
As Europe’s largest economy, and the 4th largest in the world, Germany’s shift in majority energy supply signals an important shift. Germany’s long-standing robust economy rapidly shifting its primary economic foundation - energy - to renewables, provides other nations and investors a strong example to follow. Could 2019 be the tipping point, wherein the world’s biggest economies race to shift to renewable energy as quickly as possible, or will coal and petrol lobbies continue their powerful stifling? Additionally, how might we help ease the financial burdens of stranded coal and petroleum assets and encourage rapid renewables uptake? Finally, which country(s) could reach the tipping point in 2019, and what economic and environmental advantages might they, along with Germany, enjoy from doing so?