Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has hit an electric milestone. As of March, the German state generates 120 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
Germany is Europe’s leader in green energy, with 74 percent of its electricity generated from renewables during a brief period last May. The technical term for its clean energy fervor is “energiewende,” or “energy transition”: the national pledge to build a completely renewable energy grid by the year 2050.
Two weeks ago, Renewables International reported that Schleswig-Holstein, a rural German state on the border of Denmark, was on track to produce as much green electricity as it consumed for the year 2014. Two years ago, the state announced its plan to hit 300 percent renewable, which would put it in place to begin exporting its surplus.
But last week, Renewables International had to run a correction. It turns out the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern already broke Schleswig-Holstein’s record.
In the words of Rudolf Borchert, the state’s Chairman of the Committee on Energy, Infrastructure and Regional Development: “We cover more than 120 percent of our electricity needs from renewable energies and thus are far ahead of all federal states. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has become in 2013 the final exporter of green electricity. The main reason for this is the development of wind turbines on land and in photovoltaics.”
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s population is small (1.6 million, about the same as Idaho) and thus its electricity needs are minimal. It contains three of the country’s national parks and hundreds of nature conservation areas, making it a popular tourist destination. It also boasts over 1,600 wind turbines and 4,000 employees working in wind power or related industries.
The state reports that its renewable power production grew over 30 percent from 2012 to 2013.