German Wind Power Ties For #1 Electricity Source In November

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Wind power production in Germany is at record levels — so high that electricity from it tied with electricity from lignite-burning power plants in the month of November. Both were reported to have generated 11.4 TWh, though the final official stats won’t be published until 2016.

The other electricity sources were:

  • Hard coal – 8.6 TWh
  • Nuclear – 7.4 TWh
  • Gas – 3.6 TWh

wind turbines Germany(Of course, if one were to combine lignite and hard coal, that would be the #1 source of electricity in the country.)

Overall, for that month, wind generated about 23% of Germany’s electricity.

One German state already generates more than 100% of its electricity from renewables, so it isn’t unreasonable to wonder how many others might achieve this figure as well. (Wind power plays a prominent role there – reportedly, over 1,600 wind turbines are in operation in the state.)

Another title for this article might have been, “Wind Power in Germany Blows Nuclear Power Out Of The Water,” but perhaps that is no longer surprising. What seems to be surprising is the speed at which energy storage is emerging in Germany, but this too may actually be logical considering that it could solve the wind and solar power intermittency problem, which admittedly isn’t a concern until relatively high penetration of renewables. Once energy storage rises a bit in Germany, will that be the end of traditional fuels there?

wind farm germany

Younicos was recently selected to help with the energy management and energy storage side of the energy transition. “We’re delighted to apply the experience and knowledge we’ve gained from 23 battery-based storage projects with a combined power rating of almost 100 megawatts to this new challenge. In over ten years of pioneering work, we have developed entirely new software for communications and control between the power grid, electricity market, and battery plant. It is exactly this type of IT expertise that’s needed for the success of Energiewende — not only in Germany but throughout Europe, ” Younicos cofounder Clemens Triebel explained.

Here are a few CleanTechnica videos from the Younicos global headquarters in Berlin, Germany:

Germany is clearly one of the countries that is leading the way on renewable energy and setting an example for everyone.

Images: wind farms in Germany via Shutterstock

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Jake Richardson

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37 thoughts on “German Wind Power Ties For #1 Electricity Source In November

  • thats the reason I choose for Wattsolar and Solarbatterie for my home solarsysten,in stead of the Teslawall….Germans have a lasting reputation for having technological tacit knowledge…

    • You write, “Germans have a lasting reputation for having technological tacit knowledge…” Yes, they do, but unfortunately that attitude of “quality first” sometimes ends up being too expensive. There are no German batteries that compete economically with the Tesla Powerwall. Sonnenbatterie is closest at twice the price per kwh. This really needs to change, since we all love quality and the world needs electrical storage. Let the race begin.

    • VW.

  • You forgot biomass, hydro and solar and listed only the other non-renewable electricity sources.

  • Despite being a world leader in renewable energy, Germany is still in a very big coal hole. And in just 6 short years, they intend to shut down all of their nuclear plants which only makes the situation worse. I have never supported nuclear energy but it makes no sense to shut down viable non-carbon power plants that have appropriate safety protections. But if any nation can pull this off, Germany can.

    • So far they haven’t shown any signs of being remotely close to pulling it off. They will be burning massive amounts of coal for decades to come.

      They are only into green-washing and propaganda, not actually getting rid of fossil fuels and emissions.

        • Kevin’s right. Coal burning has started to drop.

          Harry is right on the accelerated nuclear phaseout. But it’s a waste of breath to chide the Germans for this. The Green movement and the EEG law came out of anti-nuclear protests, and there is now a very broad anti-nuclear consensus. In any case it’s only a matter of relative timing; pro-nuclear France plans to run down its nuclear capacity as the 1970s reactors come to the end of their lives. The British government is just being contrarian (polite for dumb).

          • I don’t disagree about the nuclear. If my wishes had been consulted for some reason, they’d have kept the nuclear plants til the last coal plant was gone. But political reality dictated another course, as you say.

          • Germany did have a meltdown next door close enough that they are still dealing with the radiation that escaped.

            That sort of event can focus one’s mine.

          • But no closer than many of its neighbors that do not have same super-sized fears. This assuming you meant Chernobyl. I would understand if Ukrainians felt that way, much more so than germans, who were barely affected (if at all, realistically).

          • I believe the Fukushima disaster was the reason for Germans to say no to nuclear which is even less geographically logical.

          • Geography is irrelevant, it is the fear of what might happen that is the issue – you generally want to shut down the danger BEFORE it blows.

          • I was referring to Tatu’s comment about proximity with Chernobyl being a factor in shutting down nuclear in Germany. It doesn’t seem to matter…

          • “The *anti-nuclear movement in Germany* has a long history dating back to the early 1970s when large demonstrations prevented the construction of a nuclear
            plant at Wyhl .”

            “In 1986, large parts of Germany were covered with radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl disaster and Germans went to great lengths to deal with the contamination. Germany’s anti-nuclear stance was strengthened.”

            “The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 was a pivotal event for Germany’s anti-nuclear movement. After the radioactive fallout cloud covered large parts of the country, Germans went to great lengths to deal with the contamination. Contaminated crops were destroyed, firemen dressed in protective gear cleaned cars as they crossed the border from other countries, and sand in playground sandboxes was replaced.”

            Wiki –

          • This is conveniently glossed over by nuclear proponents.
            Also here in Austria all sandboxes where cleaned, you had to keep windows shut for days, we sealed windows with tape,…
            Mushrooms and bores can still show high levels of radiation.
            1986 is not that far away and we still remember this vividly.
            People started to built fallout shelters in their gardens.
            The memory will probably last for another 20 to 30 years.
            I hope that coal and nuclear will be gone for good till then…apart from the waste of course.

          • The decision to close reactors goes back well before Fukushima. It may have predated Chernobyl.

            It’s sort of easy to write off an old Soviet reactor melting down. But when on the of most technologically advanced countries melts one down then it’s a reminder that every country has its share of Homers.

          • You can infer from that graph that demand was down quite a bit; the increases in non-hydro renewables, the only category showing an increase, is less than three-quarters the decrease in hard coal, and both brown coal and gas were down significantly, too. I suppose that overall consumption is large relatively to the changes in source, though.

          • 2014 was warmer than 2013 and a lot of energy consumption probably stems from heating buildings. We also need to see figures for electricity exports to determine if domestic demand was down or if exports were down. Finally, do these numbers count distributed solar where a lot of its production is “behind the meter”?

          • Good point about the exports, and also about the ‘behind the meter’ production. Some of it should be available information if one cared enough to search. I don’t think my curiosity extends that far at the moment, though!

          • All this is a distraction from transportation, which has not improved carbon emissions as much as electricity. Work is needed there. EVs will help.

      • Germany is a global leader in building solar and wind, more so than any other industrialized country. You need to define what you mean by “massive amounts of coal” and “decades to come”. Do you mean that they will have at least 1 coal plant still running in 2036? Each plant burns a “massive amount of coal” after all.

        • I’ll back up:

          (There is indeed a lot of power exported from Germany’s lignite regions but not only lignite power but as well RE’s)

          No.2 and No.3 of the lignite burning nations (indeed state owned utilities) are Poland and the Czech Republic.

          And ‘a lot’ of lignite power from Eastern Germany is exported to these 2 countries just on the other side of the border to the East and South-east.
          Germany is a net-exporter of electricity.
          Every GW of German lignite power exported kills a very big polluter there.
          Be it – in the case of Poland – lignite power or – in the case of Czech – a combination of atom and lignite power.

          Go to

          and check the power import-exports (click in the left column) of Germany.
          For a typical sample showing recent developments go to week 50/2015 (again:left column).

          The header allows to eliminate countries for a better overview, leave Poland(blue) and Czech(yellow) and check week for week or month for month.

          Until this summer ‘power looping’ happened, (lignite-)power was fed from Northern Germany into the Polish grid and from there to Czech and from there back to Southern Germany.
          Within the the very same moment, in parallel.
          This ‘looping’ is a thing of the past, most of the time – esp. when the wind blows – both nations prefer to switch-off their lignite power plants and accept cheaper ‘grey’ German power.

          It really doesn’t matter if lignite is burned in Germany or in Poland or in Czech.Except that German lignite power is considerable cleaner due to more efficient power plants.
          And the imports from Eastern Germany – where the vast lignite mines are – is usually a mix of lignite,wind and PV-power, so called ‘grey power’.

          Don’t get me wrong on the issue’s basics: fossil combustion and atom technologies have no place in a sustainable society.
          We can’t predict what the future holds,let’s hope reason and humanism reigns.

      • You can this support with hard data, can’t you? Or are you – I try to be polite – selling your uninformed opinion as fact?

    • Given the current carbon price it makes perfect accounting sense for Germany to shut down its nuclear reactors. And with a higher carbon price, given the low cost of renewable energy, I expect it would be cheaper to shut them down anyway and build more renewable capacity.

      The reason why it makes accounting sense to shut them down is because they represent a massive unfunded liability. While the chance of a major nuclear accident is small, if one did occur its could cost trillions of dollars. It could be over $10 trillion.

    • Further up someone commented that the “Germans have a lasting reputation for having technological tacit knowledge”.
      You might want to trust them on THEIR decision to shut down THEIR nukes and built up wind+pv+etc as fast as they can.

  • “Once energy storage rises a bit in Germany, will that be the end of traditional fuels there?” The timetable for the rundown of coal no longer has anything to do with cost or intermittency. It’s driven by the now disastrous economics of coal generation at ever-declining capacity factors. It’s not the German way to say to a failing industrial sector “Tough shit, now die”, so ever-increasing subsidies will be needed either to keep coal plants on the grid for security or to close them down for emissions reduction.

  • there are no states in Germany. Infact Germany is smaller than California

    • Size has nothing to do with it. In the Swiss Confederation – i.e, looser than a federation – the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden has 15,854 inhabitants. Germany is a federal republic. The components are “Länder” in German, either left like that in English or translated as “states”. Guangdong Province in China has a population of 104 million: but China is a unitary state like France, and provinces are administrative subdivisions not political units.

      • Don’t translate Innerrhoden ….

        • “Underpants”?

          • More centralized,a little …

          • hrhr.. it’s more like inter-b*lls

    • If you think about the area, but when you compare the population you will find that the whole US is just 4 times Germany.

  • Too much “Younicos.
    Too little information.

    Please and Thank you.

Comments are closed.