In 2010, the German government formally adopted a plan to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning to an environmentally sound, sustainable and affordable low-carbon economy. Known as the “Energiewende”(energy transition), the plan calls for the phasing out of Germany’s nuclear reactors, the reduction of fossil fuel use and the large-scale development of renewable energy sources such as wind, photovoltaics and hydroelectricity. Increasing energy efficiency is also a major objective. However, the Energiewende focuses heavily on decarbonizing the electric grid while largely ignoring the opportunities to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the heating of buildings. Can you provide an update on the Energiewende today?
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