In the first half of 2014, Germany has “generated 31 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources” . “The U.S. produces far more renewable energy than Germany in terms of quantity. But as a percent of total energy production, America falls short.”  Germany has been a major proponent of change into renewable energy, especially after the Fukushima crisis in 2011. Germany has been a major country that has brought forth the future of energy, and in doing so, they have positioned themselves as a strong environmental power going forward.
There have been many drawbacks to these renewable sources of energy in Germany. Ultimately, it has been a very expensive ordeal, and it has cost more than benefited at this point. “Germany’s residential electricity cost is about $0.34/kWh, one of the highest rates in the world. About $0.07/kWh goes directly to subsidizing renewables, which is actually higher than the wholesale electricity price in Europe.” . Also, the over-utilization of coal due to the current underwhelming power of renewable energy can have a negative impact on the environment . This can pretty much even out the net gain from renewable energy, and even cause it to be somewhat pointless. This needs to be addressed as well. Even though there can be a long-term benefits, there are many current issues that can deter many countries from taking part in solar energy. More information on these issues can be found here.
Germany have definitely been progressive actors towards more renewable sources of energy, but there have been many costs to this change as well, especially for the short-term. The sheer cost of these projects is tremendous, as opposed to modern sources of energy. The main question going forward will be in how renewable energy can become more affordable. If it is not affordable, it will be difficult to make it wide-spread. That should be a major focus going forward. Nonetheless, Germany has been a major agent of change in the move towards more renewable types of energy, and if done correctly, it can be a benefit in the long-term.