Originally published on the ECOreport
On July 25, 2015, Germany obtained 78% of its electricity from renewable sources. That was a new record, albeit for a single day. Up until now, the European leader has not produced more than 27% green energy in a year. According to a joint press release from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden – Württemberg ( ZSW ) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries ( BDEW ), Germany will reach 33% renewable electricity this year
A Preliminary Estimate
Germany is expected to produce around 193 billion kilowatt hours (billion kWh) of electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources. That’s about one fifth more than the 161 billion kWh, or 27% of gross electricity consumption, in 2014.
Though this is a preliminary estimate, on 31 October 2015 wind energy had already supplied 47% more electricity (63 billion kWh) than during the same time period in 2014.
Though the late autumn weather tends to be unpredictable, Germany’s solar sector has already provided as much electricity during that 10 month period (35 billion kWh) as the whole of 2014.
Renewables Continue To Grow In Importance
“Regardless of the exact ratio come the end of the year, it has been made clear once again that renewable energy continues to gain importance in the German electricity mix. At the same time, the need for action to integrate renewable energy into the overall power generation system grows: The appropriate design of the necessary structures must be expedited urgently. The BDEW [German Association of Energy and Water Industries] has already put forward constructive recommendations. Furthermore, no time must be lost in the expansion of the transmission and distribution networks,” says Hildegard Müller, chair of the BDEW management board.
Frithjof Staiß, executive director of the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research ZSW, adds: “If renewable energies now meet one third of electricity demand, it is clear that this element of the Energiewende [Germany’s energy transition] is on a promising path. The rising share from renewable sources makes Germany less dependent on fossil fuels, thereby helping it to achieve its climate protection targets. Nevertheless, further efforts are needed which go beyond power generation alone: Electricity, heat and mobility need to be linked more closely with each other and optimized as an integrated system.”
“Even if we don’t hit 33%, the overall increase in Germany’s renewable energy share is terrific news,” said Thomas Grigoleit, Director of Energy, Environment and Resources at Germany Trade and Invest. “Not only does it show how important this aspect is in terms of Germany’s Energiewende and climate change targets, it confirms Germany’s pioneering position in the industry. Germany is able not only to install this capacity but integrate it effectively into the grid.”
Top Photo Credit: Morning full of Energy by Matthias Ripp via (CC by CA, 2.0 License); Rural road, corn fields and wind turbines near Wismar on the Baltic coast by Klaas Brumann via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)