Wind, solar and other renewable energy sources covered 52 % of German electricity consumption in the first six months of 2023, up from 49 % in the first half of last year, reports online news agency Clean Energy Wire. The figures come from preliminary data gathered by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and energy industry association BDEW. A record monthly solar power input of 8.8 billion kWh in May made a big contribution, and June could even improve on this record, according to a statement from the two organisations.

“Twenty years ago, hardly anyone would have thought it possible for us to generate more than half of our electricity from renewable sources,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. But she warned that a lack of skilled workers could represent a bottleneck for renewables build-out on the path to climate neutrality 2045, as many companies were having difficulties finding suitable employees today. “In the coming years, the situation could worsen drastically,” she said.

Overall gross electricity production was at 266 billion kWh in the first half of 2023, a decrease of 11 % compared to the same period last year. Electricity consumption dropped from 281 billion kWh in the first half of 2022, to 263 billion kWh one year later. High energy prices in the energy crisis led to reduced energy use during much of 2022, with households and industry cutting their use in response to market developments and pleas by the government to conserve energy. This trend also persisted in early 2023, energy market research group AGEB said in early June.

Of the total consumption in the first half of 2023, 58 billion kWh came from onshore wind, 33 bn kWh from photovoltaics, 22 bn kWh from biomass, 12 bn kWh from offshore wind, and 10 bn kWh from hydropower. Germany aims to increase the share of renewables in electricity consumption to 80 % by 2030 and have a largely emission-free supply by 2035.