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Germany Hits Renewable Energy Use Milestone

Germany is a world leader in green energy production.

In the first half of 2014, Germany generated 31 percent of its energy from renewable sources, setting a new record. The Fraunhofer Institute report found that non-hyrdo renewable energy usage at 27 percent, up 3 points from last year’s 24.

Renewables International called 2014 a “bumper year” for renewable.

“Solar grew by 28 percent in the first half of 2014 relative to Q1 & Q2 2013, while 19 percent more wind power was generated,” their analysis read. “Solar and wind alone made up a whopping 17 percent of power generation, up from around 12-13 percent in the past few years.”

While Germany is still a major consumer of coal and natural gas, both percentages fell this year with gas losing as many as 25 percentage points.

While the U.S. produces far more renewable energy than Germany, it still ultimately falls short in percentages. Renewable energy growth in the U.S. also falls flat when compared to Germany’s.

The international community is taking note of Germany’s efforts, as Rose Jacobs points out in her Newsweek piece, “Doing it the German Way.”

“Green, do-gooding Germans have long been at the sharp end of jokes, often for good reason,” she writes. “Their water conservation efforts were so enthusiastic in the 1990s and early 2000s that by 2009 sewage systems were suffering from too little water running through them. But today there isn’t a government that wouldn’t want its own citizens to follow suit.”

Bloomberg’s Caroline Winter believes this approach will help further Germany’s efforts.

“This same environmental spirit may eventually help Germany wean itself off natural gas imports from undesirable sources such as Russia,” she writes, “which currently supplies more than a third of its oil and gas.”

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