Renewable energy sources covered 38 % of Germany¹s gross power requirement in the first three quarters of 2018, according to the Federal Association for Energy and Water (BDEW).
The new figure is a three percentage points rise on the figure for 2017 and was boosted by an exceptional weather year for renewable energies, with plenty of wind through the spring and an exceptionally sunny summer. In January, April and May, renewables covered 43 % of the gross power requirement for Germany. Assuming an autumn with annual average wind pattern, the 38 % figure will be valid for the whole of 2018, a new record.
But even a wide variation in wind power could be less of a challenge than it might once have been, as indicated by the capacity of a new battery facility started up in the town of Varel. The facility, which can store 22 MWh and supply 11.5 MW, is made of a combination of lithium-ion and sodium-sulphur technologies and was developed by Japanese companies in the German state of Lower Saxony. It can supply Varel, a town of 24 000 people, with uninterrupted power for five hours. Such facilities are crucial in harnessing the full potential of intermittent renewable energies.
Renewable energies produced 170 bn kWh through to the end of September, only 2bn kWh fewer than coal-fired energy production. Coal-fired production fell by 7% and gas-fired production by 8% over the period.
“This is a superb result from a lot of hard work during a period where Germany has had to be innovative in how this energy has been used and distributed,” said Robert Herrmann, CEO of economic development agency Germany Trade & Invest, Germany’s foreign trade and inward investment agency.
“During this process of Energiewende we have faced numerous challenges, most recently working on how to best distribute the enormous quantities of energy renewable sources have been producing. Projects such as the SINTEG (Schaufenster Intelligente Energie, shop window for Intelligent Energy), which has examined a host of innovative solutions to energy storage, distribution, pricing and other aspects of management have helped us make huge steps forward in energy management. Germany remains at the forefront of clean energy solutions, as this result shows.”