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Schleswig-Holstein: 100+% Renewable Power

Kiel is the state's capital and largest city. | Photo credit: Klaas Ole Kürtz

Wind turbines in Kreis Dithmarschen | Photo credit: Dirk Ingo Franke

Renewable energies: Biogas fermenter, wind power and photovoltaics on a farm in Horstedt | Photo credit: Florian Gerlach (Nawaro)

100% Renewable Energy Goal Achieved:
100% Renewable Power

Location: State of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany


Schleswig-Holstein, Germany's northernmost state, lies between two seas - the North Sea and the Baltic Sea - and borders Denmark and the City of Hamburg . The state population is approximately 2.8 million, and the land area is 15,763 square kilometers. As of 2014, Schleswig-Holstein is generating the equivalent of 100% of the entire state's electricity demand with local renewable sources. According to Ministry estimates, the share of renewables in gross power consumption will increase to at least 300% by the early-mid 2020s.

According to the Ministry of Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of Schleswig-Holstein, installed renewable energy capacity is expected to reach 16.3 to 16.6 gigawatts by 2025. Given the state's large, flat windy areas, most additional capacity will consist of onshore wind development, which is anticipated to reach 10.5 gigawatts. Offshore wind is expected to total 2.6 gigawatts by 2025. Solar energy installed capacity is also expected to double to about 2.5 to 2.9 gigawatts compared to 2012. Biomass will only account for a small percentage of increased renewable electricity generation and will be relied upon mainly for flexibility and to balance out the variability of sun and wind. "

The state is becoming an energy hub between Scandinavian storage power plants and high consumption regions in southern Germany. While some grid expansion will be needed for Schleswig-Holstein to achieve its expected renewable energy growth, the aim is to minimize this as much as possible.  A critical next complimentary step will be to integrate load management, short-term energy storage, and power to heat technologies.

Schleswig-Holstein's transition to renewable power is essential to achieving its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 40% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050. The state is also looking to integrate its climate protection goals into economic, transport and agricultural policies.

The government of Schleswig-Holstein stands by the financial investment in the transition to renewables, concluding that

- the expense to society of depending on nuclear and coal, due to high import costs  and external costs,  are ultimately higher.

- fossil fuels present a greater risk of price hikes than renewable electricity. From 1998-2013, rates for heating oil rose by 300%, for gas about 100%, and for electricity only 70%.

- modernizing conventional fuel plants would incur high costs anyway.


To further mitigate the impact of rate increases, the state government advocates for:

- increasing public education and incentives to encourage energy savings and efficiency, which if implemented, could offset 20-25% rate increases.

- educating low income consumers about suppliers who offer the most competitive rates

- passing on the savings to consumers of the lowered wholesale rates caused by higher penetrations of renewables



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