Slate is currently running a piece on the German Energiewende. As always you should expect little when it comes to such things in Slate. This one does not disappoint. There are numerous pet peeves of the energy concerned. See if you can spot one in the following sentence:
Germany is also in the midst of a push, known as the Energiewende, to have 80 percent of its energy supplied by renewable sources by 2050.*
Yes, the old confusion of electricity and energy. If you ever see a media report mentioning that a country will get X% of its energy from renewables by a particular date, you can be fairly certain that they really mean that the country is aiming for X% of electricity from renewables.
In fact, Slate have managed to be wrong twice here. Germany has a target of getting 80% of its electricity supply, not energy, from renewable sources by 2050. It’s target for energy is this: 60% of Germany’s final energy consumption is supposed to come from renewables by 2050.
The * indicates that the article has been corrected. Originally it claimed that Germany has a target of 100% renewable energy by 2050. This perhaps can be forgiven. A large number of credulous American greens have been fooled by what can plainly be called German Green Party propagandists into thinking Germany has a target for 100% renewable energy. It does not.
But the old rule of thumb should hold. If someone cannot tell you the difference between electricity and energy supply, and watt and joule, then you should probably think twice before listening to them.