BERLIN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — The share of renewable energies among total electricity production in Germany has reached a record high during the first nine months of the year, a joint-study published on Friday by the country’s Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) finds.
According to the study, the share of renewable electricity generation rose by 3 percentage points to an unprecedented 38 percent on average of the total between January and September. In individual months such as January, April and May, strong winds and large amounts of sunshine resulted in an even higher share of up to 43 percent.
The ZSW and BDEW estimated that nearly 170 billion kilowatt hours of electricity were generated from renewable sources during the first nine months of 2018. The bulk of the output was contributed by land-based wind turbines with 63 billion kilowatt hours (plus 13 percent compared to the same period last year), solar power with 41 billion kilowatt hours (plus 16 percent). Biomass followed in third place (34 billion kilowatt hours) for electricity generation and was thus ranked ahead of hydropower (13 billion kilowatt hours) which witnessed a ten percent decline in electricity generation due to a severe summer draught in Germany.
Nevertheless, renewables still failed to match electricity output from highly-polluting coal power stations which was recorded at 172 billion kilowatt hours (minus 7 percent). Natural gas contributed a further 59 billion kilowatt hours of German electricity, marking an annual decline of nearly eight percent.
Commenting on the findings, BDEW leader Stefan Kapferer noted that “a lot of work” remained to be done before renewables could reach a 65 percent share of total electricity generation sought by the German federal government until 2030. At the same time, however, Kapferer expressed optimism that green technologies were “clearly on the fast lane”, while the contribution from conventional energy sources continued to fall.
Looking forward, the BDEW leader urged the government to ensure that there was sufficient availability of land for wind turbines and to advance the cause of large electricity grids linking the north and south of Germany. Additionally, Kapferer drew attention to the need for “adequate framework conditions for the operation of electricity storage facilities” in the Eurozone’s largest economy.