The proportion of German electricity generated from renewables is five percentage points higher already than it was in the first nine months of last year.
Germany has seen almost 48% of its gross electricity consumption provided from renewable energy thus far this year, up from 43% in the first nine months of last year.
The figures are contained in preliminary calculations by Baden-Württemberg-based solar and hydrogen research institute the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie und Wasserstoff-Forschung (ZSW) and energy and water industry body the Bundesverband der Energie und Wasserwirtschaft (BDEW).
The rise is down to a combination of favorable weather conditions in recent months and lower energy consumption as a result of Covid-19 measures which have affected industry. Solar arrays have generated 13% more electricity than in the first three quarters of last year, thanks to sunny conditions, and wind patterns have seen onshore turbines produce 7% more, by the same comparison, with offshore structures 10% more productive.
The impact of lower power consumption is illustrated by the fact the 414 TWh generated thus far this year is 7% down on the volume produced from January to the end of September last year.
Some 192 TWh of electricity has come from solar, wind and other renewables thus far this year, compared to 182 TWh in the first nine months of last year. Almost 46 TWh has come from solar this year, with 76 TWh from onshore wind, 46 TWh from biomass, including biogenic municipal waste, almost 19 TWh from offshore wind turbines and 14 TWh from hydro. Fossil fuels and nuclear have provided 222 TWh so far this year, compared to 265 TWh to the end of September 2019.
“The figures make it clear that there is still a long way to go before we reach the goal of 65% renewables, in 2030,” said Kerstin Andreae, chairwoman of the BDEW management board. “To achieve this goal, we need an ambitious amendment of the renewable energy law. The current draft already contains many correct approaches but in some areas it still has to be refined.”
Andreae disputes a forecast made by the Federal Ministry of Economics that electricity consumption in 2030 will be similar to today’s demand, and said: “That is not realistic if we assume 10 million electric vehicles by then and an increasing demand for electricity in the heating market and industry.”
ZSW managing director Frithjof Staiß said: “The fact that the share of green electricity is growing is good news. The figures should not hide the fact that there is still a lot of work ahead of us. The expansion of renewable energies must in the future be continued with much greater dynamism than ever, not only in Germany but across Europe.”