Germany to increase wind and solar power production

FILE PHOTO: A wind turbine used to generate electricity is seen at the Brinkfortsheide dump near the Ruhr area city of Marl, Germany, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany intends to increase energy production from wind and solar farms by a further 8 gigawatts (GW) over the next three years as the government tries to compensate for its decision to abandon strict emissions targets.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat (SPD) junior coalition partners this year dropped plans to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

The decision was based on expectations that Germany would miss its national emissions target for 2020 without any additional measures because of strong economic growth and higher than expected immigration.

The Bundestag lower house on Friday approved government plans to boost green energy production.

For the past few years, Germany has been increasing power capacity from wind and solar by 5 gigawatts each year. The 8 gigawatt increase between 2019-2021 is additional to that.

The government has set a new goal of increasing the share of renewable energy in Germany’s electricity consumption to 65 percent by 2030 from roughly a third last year.

The new plan includes also cutting the subsidy for solar energy production from 11.09 euro cents ($0.1256) per kWh to 8.9 euro cents.

Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Joseph Nasr; editing by David Evans