78% Of German Electricity Came From Renewables On July 25

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Originally published on Solar Love.

On Saturday, July 25, 2015, Germany got 78% of its electricity from renewables. That performance eclipsed the old record of 74% set in May 2014. How did the country do that?

Germany gets 78% of electricity from renewables on July 25.First, July 25 was a Saturday, a day when most of Germany’s industrial operations are idle for the weekend, so electricity demand is lower. Second, weather in the north of the country, where most of its wind turbines are located, was stormy. Weather over the southern half of the country, where most of its solar panels are found, was sunny. That means production from both wind and solar sources was maximized that day.

Overall, Germany gets about 28% of its electricity from renewable sources, including biomass and hydro. In 2000, that number was only 6%.

44% comes from burning coal. After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, Germany opted to shutter its nuclear power plants as soon as possible. Many thought that meant that it would turn more to coal, but it focused on renewable sources instead. Last year, Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped 4.3%. Those emission are now equal to what they were in 1990, according to analysts at Agora Energiewende.

Osha Gray Davidson, author of Clean Break, a book about Germany’s transition to clean energy, says that for such a large industrialized country to get 28% of its power from renewable sources is “pretty amazing,” and that Germany is a good model for the United States.

“Manufacturing accounts for much more of the German economy than the American economy, and they have 80 million people — much larger than a country like Denmark, which gets more of its power from renewables but has a much smaller industrial base, and has a population of five and a half million people,” he said.

Currently, the United States gets about 15% of its electricity from renewable sources, according to CleanTechnica.

As more and more wind turbines and solar panels come online, there is a major technology push to create better forecasting software and to increase the efficiency and enhance the location of these forms of power, according to Think Progress. IBM and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently announced that they are working on a producing solar and wind forecasting that’s at least 30% more accurate than conventional methods.

“There is good reason to believe that with better forecasts, it might be possible to push solar’s energy contribution [in the US] up to 50 percent [by 2050],” IBM Research Manager Hendrick Hamann says. “As we continue to refine our system in collaboration with the DOE, we hope to double the accuracy of the system in the next year. That could have a huge impact on the energy industry — and on local businesses, the economy and the natural environment.”

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

Steve Hanley has 5264 posts and counting. See all posts by Steve Hanley

53 thoughts on “78% Of German Electricity Came From Renewables On July 25

  • “Last year, Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped 4.3%. Those emission are now equal to what they were in 1990, according to analysts at Agora Energiewende.”

    That’s completely false. Emissions are already down 27% compared to 1990 and the goal is to get it down to minus 40% in 2020 while phasing out nuclear.

    • I just spotted this as well:





      ” Overall, Germany gets about 28% of its electricity from renewable sources, including biomass and hydro.”

      This isn’t correct, the number should read 39% of the generated power is from RE and 35% of the consumed power is based in REs:


      (click on “all sources” in the left column and work in the export-import balance)

        • There is an export balance of 8%, this exported power is mainly pre-ordered base load power.
          Subtract this export from the total production to get to 100% of consumed power.
          As for today we get 290.88 TWh in 2015

          The energy charts


          are maintained by Fraunhofer ISE and up to date by the hour

          However there are inaccuracies which still need to be corrected, as usual with fresh data


          One more from July 2015:
          PV has overtaken this month the atom power for the first time in German history 🙂

          • And that is with the SPD/CDU government not even trying, but rather sabotaging the Energiewende. With even a little ambition 50% till 2020 would be easy, but with this government that probably won’t happen sadly.

          • I don’t think so, but I might be over-optimistic though.

            In the power sector the 50% RE are very near, think about the closures of various atomic and fossil generators which are on the agenda of their owners.

      • PS


        Not: ” 39% of the generated power is from RE and 35% of the consumed power is based in REs ” but the other way around !

        Corrected version:
        35% of the generated power is from REs and 39% of the consumed power is from REs

        • This way round it makes much more sense. I used the columns too and they said 35,3% of electricity production was renewable for the first 8 month of 2015. If you consider that Germany is a big net exporter and exporting more electricity than ever then the share of German electricity demand that is renewable should be higher of course.

        • Yeah heinbloed, you really got me confused with your 39% renewable claim. That was absurd.

          • Thanks, I would edit it if I could ….but anyhow, the links can be followed

          • This is odd. I can edit my comments here with no trouble. (Firefox 39.0 under Windows XP SP3)

          • Someone has fiddled my “Disqus” I think.

            I’ve tried to contact them but no reply.
            All my post on “Greentechnica” are automatically deleted when leaving or renewing the page. Some other forums do so as well.

          • You’re STILL using XP?!

  • This year from Jan 2015 – Jun 2015 it was 34% in renewables.

    • of net electricity production. You have to say what you mean because share of demand and brutto electricity production differ.

  • How long until they set a record and get 100% of their electricity from clean renewable energy? Within two years, it is possible, if they keep ramping up their residential and commercial solar as well as increase both offshore and onshore wind. With 28% renewables, Germany has proven to the world that a country can get 100% of their power from renewable energy if they ramp up production. Germany gets less sun that every state in the USA, and yet they lead the world in solar power.

    • There are lots of countries with 100% renewable power, so not really much to prove there. Not to mention that momentarly spikes are pretty irrelevant. I’d be a lot more impressed if they could get close to a 30% average in December.
      A long way to go, but it’s slowly going mostly in the right direction at least.

      • So be a lot more impressed then, because Germany already averaged 34% of REs last december. ;D

        • I am impressed. =) I totally underestimated the levels of biomass and hydro. 😛

          • 🙂 These two certainly helped, most of the renewable generation in December was wind though.

      • What is your definition of lots? Norway and Iceland are close, if not there, but neither from solar/wind. Who else?

        • Costa Rica

        • Few are perfect hundreds. But close enough depending on how you look at it are Albania (domestic production, Brazil (non-drough years), Norway, Iceland, Bhutan, Burundi, Belize, Costa Rica, Congo, Laos, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nepal, Paraguay, Tajikistan, Zambia…. and a number more in the 90+ region.

          • If by Congo, you mean the former Zaire, then they really need to get their hydro infrastructure in shape.
            Only 6% of the populace has access to electricity even though their hydropower potential could power several African countries.

          • Lots of countries have a lot of work to do. There is a lot of talk about solar (and wind) but the main growth could and should still come from hydro. But those are very big and very costly projects…

          • Hooking up villages and individual buildings can cost a lot of money. As solar and storage prices continue to fall it’s likely going to make more sense to use a combination of wind, solar and storage to build small isolated grids and off grid homes than to build the transmission needed for move power from a large hydro plant to distant consumers.

          • That is most likely what will happen, especially in non-organized and poor countries. And that is a lot better than nothing, but as usual it takes money to make money (and progress).

          • There should be no large scale hydro.
            It does more damage than good.
            Just want to mention Belo Monte Dam.

          • There should be lots of large scale hydro, no other energy source has done as much good as large scale hydro.

          • For places with adequate sun, solar is the way to go as it’s the only (non-fuel-based) renewable that’s efficient on a small scale & readily expandable.

          • Wind.

          • That’s 54% on the 3/8/2015, not 2014 …..


    • Probably in two-three years.
      PV is now slow, only ca. 100MW are added per month.
      But off-shore is very strong and will be so for the next years.
      With further closures of fossil power plants this 100% target is very near.

      A more detailed report by Craig Morris:


      Interesting the 25% notice:

      “We don’t need to look far for a very low share of renewables, however.
      In the wee hours of July 22, wind power dropped to 2-3 GW, with solar at
      0. Add in hydropower and biomass, and we have around 9.5 GW of
      renewable electricity out of just under 40 GW of domestic demand. In
      other words, it is now hard for renewable electricity to be pushed far
      below 25 percent of domestic demand in the summer.”

    • Probably impossible as long as they have coal power plants. Maybe they can ship the excess out of the country though, and claim they produced electricity equivalent to 100% of their usage.

  • Strange, according to the RMI, forecasting generation from renewables is already more accurate than predicting consumption. So how can a improved forecast for renewables be of such significance?

  • So when RE reached 74%, did they shut down the coal plants for the duration? If not then how does this help against global warming?

  • One of the latest coal power plants in Germany Moorburg B (Hamburg)


    is suffering under ” market-induced standstills ”


    Its sister plant Moorburg A is still in the commissioning phase.

    An environmental impact study was faulty says the European court of justice…..

    That sounds like a heap of modern scrap to me.

  • An example to the world what renewable energy can do. No more wars over oil. Is it the energy of peace prevailing now? I realy hope so.

    • I don’t know. It will probably be the end of the oil wars but if the countries that subsist on oil revenue are not taken care of by their leaders or other countries then we may see major unrest as needy people try to get what they need from other countries.

Comments are closed.