Record share of renewable energy sources in electricity consumption

In Germany, the share of renewable energy reached a new record in the first half of the year. Growth gives hope, but also brings with it challenges.

The share of renewables in German electricity consumption increased significantly in the first six months of the year. According to the Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Center Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), 58 percent of electricity came from green sources such as wind, sun and hydropower. Compared to the same period last year, this represents an increase of 5.7 percentage points.

Still preliminary calculations show that the share of renewables was above 50 percent in every month of the first half of the year, with a peak of 59 percent in April. “For the second time in a row we are seeing a record,” commented BDEW CEO Kerstin Andreae. The sharp increase in solar energy is particularly noteworthy: production rose to a total of 37 billion kilowatt hours.

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Source: t-online

But renewable energy sources were able to gain points not only in terms of consumption, but also in electricity production: their share in the total amount of electricity produced in Germany increased to 60%. This means an increase of 8.2 percentage points compared to the corresponding period last year. According to ZSW and BDEW, a total of nearly 150 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity was produced from green sources in the first half of the year. Consumption and production differ because electricity produced in Germany, for example, is also sold to customers in other countries.

When it comes to renewables, wind power scored in the main: at nearly 62 billion kilowatt hours, it accounted for the largest share of solar, and in second place with more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of production in June alone. But biomass, offshore wind and hydropower have also contributed to green electricity generation.

102 billion kilowatt hours of electricity was produced from conventional energy sources, compared to 120 billion kilowatt hours in the same period last year. Nuclear power no longer contributes to electricity generation since the last reactors were shut down for good in mid-April last year.

Despite the positive development, ZSW and BDEW warn of potential obstacles to the further expansion of renewable energy sources. “Green electricity is of no use to us if it can’t be used,” says Andreae. The Federal government it must therefore remove the remaining obstacles in order to pave the way for a full transition to green energy sources.

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