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Published on April 6th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


How Renewable Electricity Generation in Germany Has Changed (Chart & Statistics)

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April 6th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
I can’t remember where I ran across these — I think a reader shared them with me — but I started going through a bunch of old drafts of articles I wanted to write but never got to last night (Spring cleaning, I guess) and ran across them again. Basically, the image and tables below show how renewable electricity generation has changed over the years. Visit the German website I got all this from for more.

germany renewable electricity generation

As you can see, up until the late 1990s, the only renewable energy source for electricity generation that was at all significant was hydro power.

In the middle to late 1990s, wind power started growing and had grown to a significant share of the electricity supply by the early 2000s. In 2003, it surpassed hydro power for the #1 renewable energy source for electricity, and has held that position up until today.

Biomass has also grown a lot in the 2000s, and it passed up hydro in 2007.

Solar started growing later, but you can see that its big boom in 2010 and 2011 has resulted in it becoming a major player now, as well.

Of course, the chart also shows Germany’s significant renewable energy growth (in the electricity sector) overall.

For more details, here are tables to go with the image:

Interesting stuff. Let me know if more thoughts pop into your head from looking at this. And let me know if you have similar charts and stats for other countries that you think would be worth a share!

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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  • Karl-Friedrich Lenz

    These are interesting numbers.

    If you try a search with “development of renewable energy sources in Germany 2011″. That should get you the recent 44 page PDF the German government released on all sorts of renewable statistics, which gives even more details about the situation.

  • Soma Bhadra

    Renewables growth from 3% to 16.5% in two decades. Good, but can we do better than this?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Sure. And we almost certainly will.

      The price of wind, both on- and offshore, and the price of solar continue to fall.

      Concern over climate change grows.

      Put those two facts together and installation rates for renewables will increase.

    • sola


      As renewable generation technologies mature, their prices continually get lowered.

      At a certain price point, there will be a huge boom and revolutionary change.

      We are not very far from that point.

    • ThomasGerke

      I think you should look at those statistics more like this:
      Going from a share of 1.7% of unconventional renewables to 17% of unconventional renewables within roughly a decade. A 10x increase within a decade.

      Could the US do the same?
      Oh most certainly. Considering the incredible natural ressources of the US and the fact that many technologies are now more than ready for action, I think it’s certainly possible. I would even dare to say that reaching 30% of unconventional renewable electricity generation over a period of 10 years would be a piece of cake if there wouldn’t be a favourable political framework like the german EEG.

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