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The Journey
for the Sun
Serhii's Tolstikhin's biking trip is symbolic one because it follows a journey that is performed today by millions of people, companies, cities, and countries – towards clean energy. It is the path that our Group of Companies chose more than ten years ago. We hope that all our country, all Ukrainians will share this path with us because a choice of 100% clean energy is the only choice that will allow avoiding significant climate change and ensure clean air. Moreover, it will give everyone as much energy as needed.
Ivan Vekirchyk, Co-Founder, KNESS Group

I am Serhii Tolstikhin, and my beloved is Yuliia Mazur, and we share a dream: energy independent Ukraine on the clean and green planet Earth.
Renewable power has become a global trend and is actively developing in Ukraine, too. Solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps, biomass are not just buzzwords but also opportunities to increase the energy independence of both a separate family and the country as a whole. This trend has already been acknowledged in the EU countries long ago and is now advocated for Ukraine.

A goal of our project is to find out how green energy is used in 22 European countries and tell Europeans about Ukraine. For 80 days, we were driving the green transport – bicycles – by green tourist roots and exploring along the road how RES look in those countries.

We have already told about the first ten countries in the previous issue of Suntimes, and here is what is going on in the RES sector in the following six states we visited.

GERMANY

Germany is one of the first countries that started to develop renewable energy in the world, back when this technology was super expensive. And now, for six months in 2019, for the first time, RES in Germany have produced more power than fossil and nuclear plants. A share of electric power generated from solar energy, wind, biomass, and water was 47.3%.
43.4% remained for coal and nuclear plants, another 9.3% of electric power was obtained from gas, and the remaining 0.4% - from other sources, including oil.
By 2030, Germany plans to bring a share of green power in the energy balance to 65%.

BELGIUM

The Federal Government of Belgium adopted a new Energy Pact that envisages abandoning nuclear power. The state plans to shut down seven nuclear reactors by 2025 already.
At the moment, nuclear plants provide for about 40% of Belgium's needs in energy. The state possesses the fourth place in the world, following France, Slovakia, and Ukraine, with the highest portion of nuclear power resources in the national power grids.
According to the Eurostat, Belgium covers only 8.7% of its energy needs with renewable sources. It plans to channel investments into increasing renewable facilities, especially into the sea wind power plants.

The NETHERLANDS

By 2050, the country plans to decrease CO2 emissions by 50% and provide a stable way of obtaining about 40% of electric power by collecting wind energy and producing energy from biomass. The country is steadily building its RES capacity: +11% in 2018, +18% in 2019. The highest portion of clean energy came from wind – 49%, biomass produced 26%, and solar power gave another 24%.
At the moment, the consumption of renewable energy in the Netherlands is 18%. But the country does a lot to improve this situation. In 2018, the investments in renewable energy in the Netherlands grew by 60% to 5.6 billion US dollars.

The Dutch government plans to increase the number of electric vehicles on the roads to 200,000 this year already and intends to ban the sales of traditional ICE vehicles totally by mid-2020s.

LUXEMBURG

The Government of Luxemburg plans to boost the deployment of renewable energy and to increase its portion in the country's energy mix. It voiced its intent to increase the production of wind energy twofold, and the production of solar energy – more than 10 times by 2030. The National Plan on Energy and Climate envisages a share of 33.6% of renewable energy by 2030.


FRANCE

The Government of France pursues a strategy of clean energy development and has announced its plans by 2030-2035:

Reduce CO2 emissions by 40%;

Reduce end-use of energy by 20%;

Reduce the use of fossil fuels by 40%;

Increase a share of renewable energy by 33%;

Reduce the use of nuclear energy in power generation by up to 50% by 2035. By that time, 14 out of
58 active nuclear units should be taken out of operation. The process will start this year already. The state intends to increase annual subsidies for the development of renewable energy to 8 billion euros instead of the current 5 billion. The subsidy will be available mostly to the on-shore wind generation with a plan to increase its capacity threefold by 2030, and solar generation, which will increase its capacity fivefold by 2030. In total, renewable energy should provide 40% of generation by 2030 року. The governmental program also includes the complete shutdown of coal plants by 2022.

LICHTENSTEIN

Lichtenstein's limited territory and infrastructure prevent the country from covering its domestic energy needs independently; that is why the country has to import about 80% of the energy it consumes. Nonetheless, the country is moving towards renewable energy. And today, most of the electric power produced in the domestic market in Lichtenstein is from RES generation. The primary renewable sources here include hydro- and solar power. In 2017, Lichtenstein even became a leader in solar energy and received the SolarSuperState Award for the highest per capita level of photovoltaic capacity – 620 Wt.