It’s possible for Berlin to reach net-zero emissions by 2030. Here’s how.
By Georgia Bartlett
In our 2022 report ‘Germany’s Path to ‘Freedom Energy’ by 2030′ we showed how converting Europe’s largest economy to 100% clean energy would usher in a new era of clean prosperity, self-sufficiency and environmental restoration. We concluded that net zero for electric power for the whole country could be achieved by 2030, and for all energy by 2035.
Within the next decade, Germany can lead the world by creating a fully self-sufficient, zero cost clean energy system for less than the cost of the country’s current annual fossil fuel spending, laying the foundations for a bold new era of long-term energy security and economic property unlike anything ever seen before.
By accelerating and supporting solar, wind, batteries (SWB) and electric vehicle (EV) disruption, Germany can meet all of its energy needs across electricity, transportation and heating and lead the world by creating a zero cost clean energy system.
If German society mobilizes people and resources to implement a focused and comprehensive series of measures it could see net-zero emissions by 2030, and even accelerate this timeline.
Doing so will reduce costs to consumers, increase competitiveness, self-sufficiency and national security, and has the potential to create a more dynamic, prosperous, equitable, decentralized, resilient and sustainable society, if done right…
In March 2023, Berliners make the decision as to whether or not the city will become climate-neutral by 2030.
To achieve success, Berlin will need to follow a number of key principles:
Clear Signals: Commit to Net zero by 2030, provide clarity and certainty to business, investors, individuals and communities.
Supportive Regulation: Create free, open and competitive electric energy markets at all levels. Reduce regulatory resistance and red tape that might hinder the rollout of clean renewable technologies across the economy.
Energy Rights: Guarantee that all individuals, businesses and communities will have the right to generate, store and sell electric energy. This is like an Internet of Electricity, where everyone can trade electrons, photons and bits just like we do information today.
Financial: Create incentives to invest in infrastructure of the new system at all levels and accelerate the ongoing system transformation.
Fiscal: Use tax and subsidy to accelerate the transformation. Stop taxing self-generation with clean renewable energy. Only tax energy trading. Focus major government interventions on electrification of residential and commercial heating.
Education: Educate citizens in the science-based reality that net zero is a road to more prosperity, not sacrifice. Harness hope, optimism and opportunity to drive change. The fear-based incumbency narrative frames achieving net zero as a Sisyphean task. The reality is that it’s more like achieving a technology snowball effect using gravity (see diagram above).
Counter incumbency: Stop subsidies, protection, and other support of high GHG industries. Stop subsidizing and supporting band-aids (i.e measures that make the existing system “less bad”).
Technology Neutrality: Adopt a non-prescriptive, technology agnostic approach to regulation and fiscal policy to ensure that these technologies that will thrive in the emerging paradigm are not penalized. This is not to be confused with a scattershot “all of the above” approach.
Social Net: Protect people and communities not the legacy companies and industries that will collapse during transformation. Provide social capital, education and training for people to move to growth clean renewable technology industries.
Real Offsets: The superabundance of energy produced by the new system can be exported and used as real zero-carbon energy offsets. In the short term, Net Zero will require some offsets in the period while the rest of the economy (e.g food) is decarbonized in the 2030s. The need for offsets will reduce rapidly over time.
A new energy system is possible.
Above all, prioritizing freedom, self-sufficiency and entrepreneurial drive is essential at all levels to achieving Net Zero. The new energy system is not a cleaner version of today’s centralized, hierarchical, command and control energy system based on scarce atoms and molecules. Instead it’s a transformation into a fully decentralized, many-to-many network, zero-carbon electric energy system based on limitless photons and electrons. The main goal of the government is not to run this like a centralized enterprise but rather to unleash the optimism, creativity and the entrepreneurial drive of millions of Berliners and Germans who want to contribute to the transformation of their energy system.
Every individual can have a direct, measurable, palpable contribution to building this net zero system. This success at all levels can generate an optimism feedback loop that in and of itself can change what is achievable. The government should do its best to support the people, catalyze action and not stand in the way.
See how the whole of Germany can become climate neutral by reading our full report ‘Germany’s Path to ‘Freedom Energy 2030’ here: https://www.rethinkx.com/energy-reports
Read our climate report to learn how just eight technologies can directly eliminate over 90% of net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide within 15 years: https://www.rethinkx.com/climate-implications