More electricity from sun, wind and biomass, less electricity from coal – the rate of 38 percent for 2018 is good news for climate protection. The target set by the federal government is 65 percent.
Dhe share of renewable energies in electricity consumption rose to 38 percent in the first three quarters of this year. This was 3 percentage points higher than in the same period of the previous year, as calculated by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW).
In January, April and May, renewables even reached up to 43 percent because there was a lot of wind and the sun was shining a lot. If the fourth quarter gets windy on average, the organic share of the German electricity mix for 2018 as a whole could be just under 38 percent.
From January to the end of September, a total of almost 170 billion kilowatt hours of electricity were generated from sun, wind and other regenerative sources, compared to 155.5 billion in the same period of the previous year. Onshore wind turbines supplied the largest share with almost 63 billion, more than 13 percent more than in the same period in 2017. Solar systems increased by almost 16 percent and produced more than 41 billion kilowatt hours.
The heating and transport sectors are a cause for concern
This is followed by biomass (34 billion) and hydropower (13 billion), which due to the long drought delivered almost 10 percent less electricity than in the same period of the previous year. Offshore wind turbines on the water contributed around 13 billion kilowatt hours to electricity generation.
According to the information, this means that renewables almost achieved electricity generation from lignite and hard coal, which was around 172 billion kilowatt hours – that was 7 percent less than in the previous year, as reported by ZSW and BDEW. Natural gas also recorded a decrease of almost 8 percent to around 59 billion kilowatt hours.
“Renewables are clearly in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to covering gross electricity consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW boss Stefan Kapferer. It is still “quite a bit of work” to achieve the federal government’s target of 65 percent green electricity by 2030. It is important to provide sufficient space for wind turbines on land and to do everything possible to move the large power lines from north to south of Germany. He also called for “adequate framework conditions for the operation of electricity storage facilities”.
The grand coalition agreed this week to set up a working group to explore ways to achieve greater acceptance among the population for new wind turbines in rural areas – for example, height restrictions or a minimum distance from residential buildings. In addition, there is to be an additional expansion of wind and solar power by a total of eight gigawatts over the next three years in order to advance climate protection. These special tenders were already agreed in the coalition agreement. A commission is currently negotiating Germany’s withdrawal from electricity generation from coal; the concept should be available this year.
“The increase in regenerative power generation is basically a reason to be pleased,” said ZSW board member Frithjof Staiß on the figures for the first three quarters of 2018. “However, the heating and transport sectors are causing concern. We must finally make noticeable progress here. ”Should Germany fail to meet its EU targets in these areas, it could face fines running into billions.