Renewable energies collectively provided 38% of Germany’s gross electricity consumption in the first 3 quarters of 2018, an increase of 3% from the same period last year.
According to the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), yield was also higher in January, April and May with strong winds and unseasonably sunny days pushing renewables’ share up as high as 43%.
If wind speeds in the fourth quarter are in line with the last few years’ average, renewables could come close to providing half of demand throughout 2018.
Closing in on fossil fuels
Solar, wind and other renewable sources generated nearly 170 billion kilowatt (kWh) hours of electricity in the first 3 quarters of 2018. Renewables are closing in on lignite and bituminous coal, which accounted for around 172 billion kWh of electricity, down nearly 7% from last year’s figure. Natural gas-fired electricity production also decreased by nearly 8% to around 59 billion kWh.
Onshore wind power remained the leading source of renewable energy in the reviewed period with nearly 63 billion kWh, a 13% increase from the same period last year. Photovoltaic’s showcased the steepest growth, rising nearly 16% to more than 41 billion kWh and biomass came in third with around 34 billion kWh. A prolonged drought left hydropower in fourth place, with production dropping almost 10% to around 13 billion kWh. Offshore wind contributed around 13 billion kWh.
Stefan Kapferer, BDEW’s Chairman, commented, “Renewables are definitely in the fast lane, while conventional energy sources’ contribution to covering gross electricity consumption is steadily declining. However, we still have a lot of work to do to achieve the goal of a 65 percent share of renewable power by 2030. It is imperative to keep this expansion from stalling.”