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Solar and offshore wind are Germans’ favourites for future power production

Rooftop solar and offshore wind power are the most popular technologies for Germany’s future power mix, a survey by renewable energy provider Lichtblick has found. Installing more solar panels on buildings is the favourite form of energy generation for 46 percent of respondents, and 37 percent say wind turbines at sea are their preferred technology. Open-field solar power farms and onshore wind turbines follow in the ranking with 35 percent and 31 percent respectively. New coal power stations are the least preferred technology, of which only 3 percent of respondents approve. New nuclear power stations are the favourite of 11 percent and new gas plants are favoured by 8 percent. New hydropower plants range in the middle, with 29 percent of respondents saying the focus should be put on this technology. About 80 percent of respondents said they would like solar panel installations to be made mandatory on new buildings. “The solar power potential is gigantic and people are ready for a transition to solar power,” said Lichtblick CEO Gero Lücking. With a view to the ongoing debate over onshore wind turbines, which are primarily built in rural areas, Lücking said “we need to bring the energy transition into the inner cities. And that can be done best with rooftop solar power.”

Onshore wind power is slated to become Germany’s primary power source of the future and provided nearly 17 percent to the country’s power mix in 2019. However, due to licensing troubles and resistance from local interest groups, expansion plunged last year and was overtaken by offshore wind for the first time. Solar power contributed almost 8 percent to the power mix but still has a very large growth potential, as many available spaces on rooftops and open fields remain unused. By contrast, Germany will phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022 and has decided to shut down its last coal plant no later than 2038, even though one new hard coal plant, Datteln 4, is slated to enter operation this year. Gas-fired power production, on the other hand, is viewed as an important transition technology by the German government in the transition to a low-carbon power system.

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