2015 was a solid year of German renewable energy expansion. Almost one-third of Germany’s electricity demand last year has been delivered by renewable energy, with onshore wind and solar PV leading the charge.
Renewables academic Volker Quaschning published the findings today, compiling the data from a range of sources:
“The share of renewables in Germany’s gross electricity consumption has reached almost one-third in the year 2015th In 2014 the renewable energy overtook first lignite in electricity production. Conventional power plants are increasingly pushed back that can maintain their production volumes only on increased exports. The wind power on land the largest contribution, followed by biomass and photovoltaics.”
As PV-magazine points out, while German PV installation rates have declined, Germany’s installed renewable base is continuing to set records.
Volker Quaschning concludes German renewables supplied 194 TWh of electricity in 2015. This total represents 32.5% of a total gross national electricity consumption of 587 TWh, showing an increase over 27.4% 2014 total.
Onshore wind accounted for the largest source of renewable electricity supply, producing 77.9 TWh in 2015. It is followed by biomass (49.9 TWh), solar PV (38.5 TWh), hydro (19.5 TWh), and offshore wind (8.1 TWh).
These numbers shine on Germany’s much-touted Energiewende or energy transition. Even so, the level of renewable production falls short of what is required to limit the effects of climate change to 1.5C increase in temperatures.
“To keep the 1.5 degree climate protection limit the increase of the renewable power generation is still too low,” Volker Quaschning states.
Referring to the June 2015 G7 Summit, “…it was decided that carbon dioxide emissions by 40 to 70% lower by 2050 compared with of 2010. Only with a reduction of 70% can be at all the climate change scenario RCP2.6 IPCC achieve that, however, from 2070 with controversial CCS methods provides negative carbon dioxide emissions. If the 2-degree climate target be achieved safely without CCS, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced to zero already 2040-2050. In Germany would have to the pace of expansion of renewable energies will be quadrupled.”
The increase in German renewable energy production is reason to be positive, however, it remains short of where Quaschning has shown. And with Germany leading the renewable energy charge, the rest of the world has even farther to go.