In 2012, the United States produces 6% of its total energy from renewable sources. This is the same figure Germany started out with in 2000 when the country approved it Renewable Energy Act, jumpstarting the German movement called Energiewende, which means “Energy Change”. In 12 short years, Germany now receives 25% of its energy from renewable sources and it has set a formal target of 80% by 2050. Many German experts believe Germany can achieve 100% renewable by 2050.

Some Amazing Figures

  • 25 percent of Germany’s electricity now comes from solar, wind and biomass.
  • A third of the world’s installed solar capacity is found in Germany, a nation that gets roughly the same amount of sunlight as Alaska.
  • 65 percent of the country’s total renewable power capacity is now owned by individuals, cooperatives and communities while Germany’s once all-powerful utilities only have 6.5 percent ownership of the sector

The story of how Germany got to this place is itself an interesting one laced with unexpected twists and turns and would make for a good read. A lot of it is, interestingly, tied to nuclear power, or rather nuclear disasters.