In the first half of 2019, solar, wind and other renewable sources accounted for 44 % of the electricity consumed in Germany, marking a record high. Preliminary calculations by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) yielded this figure. Renewables had accounted for 39 % of electricity consumption in the first half of 2018.
Onshore wind power remained the dominant source of eco-friendly electricity with 55.8 billion kWh hours (H1 2018: 47.3 billion kWh, growth – 18 %). Photovoltaic systems generated 24 billion kWh (H1 2018: 23 billion kWh). Offshore wind power again posted the steepest growth, rising 30 % to 12 billion kWh (H1 2018: 9.2 billion kWh). Other renewable energies, mainly biomass and hydropower, accounted for 36.7 billion kWh (H1 2018: 37.2 billion kWh).
Renewables’ high share of energy production in the first half of 2019 is also attributable to exceptional weather conditions. While March brought record-setting winds, the other months’ wind yields consistently exceeded the long-term averages.
“This record for green electricity is an encouraging snapshot, but let it not obscure the fact that there are underlying structural problems. If we merely keep on with more of the same, we will end up with just 54 % renewable energies in 2030. Some obstacles will have to be cleared to achieve the German government’s 65 % target figure needed for climate protection. These include the land restrictions imposed on onshore photovoltaic and wind power plants, and the expansion cap on offshore wind and photovoltaics plants that go beyond the tendering regime,” said Stefan Kapferer, chairman of BDEW's General Executive Management Board, today in Berlin.
Prof. Frithjof Staiß, managing director of ZSW, adds, "We urgently need a stronger expansion of renewable energies and greater energy efficiency in all sectors to achieve the climate protection target for 2030. We should adapt the political framework conditions to this end. One option is a CO2-based surcharge on fossil fuel prices for which consumers are reimbursed in other ways. The public can be expected to support actions taken to better protect the climate if the impact is cushioned to alleviate any social hardship.”