German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said renewable energies could meet around 16 percent of total energy supply by 2020 -- triple the current amount.
Nearly 12 percent of Germany's electricity comes from renewable sources
At a presentation of a study on expanding renewable energies in Berlin on Tuesday, German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said such an expansion of renewable energy sources would not be difficult and has "great potential" for providing jobs. Gabriel said the alternative energies would be a "major success story.
He added that the production of electricity, heat and fuels from renewable sources such as wind, biomass and solar power increased 12.8 percent in 2006 and that renewable sources now make up 5.3 percent of the energy supply. Electricity from renewable sources has a 11.8 percent share.
German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel
Such expansion would gradually allow Germany to replace nuclear energy with renewables, Gabriel said.
Rapid growth has also led to 50,000 new jobs in the sector since 2004 -- with a current total of 214,000 in the branch.
The German Space Center conducted the study for the German Environment Ministry.