A lot of wind in February and then plenty of sun. There can hardly be better conditions for green electricity. This is also reflected in the statistics.
In the first three months of this year, renewable energies covered more than half of the electricity consumption in Germany for the first time. From January to March, around 52 percent of the consumption was generated with wind, sun, hydropower and other eco-energies.
This is shown by the first calculations by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW). In the same period last year, the share of renewable energies in gross domestic electricity consumption was only 44.4 percent.
The significant increase in the share of green electricity is the result of a combination of special effects, it said. A wind record in February was followed by March with an unusually high number of hours of sunshine.
Wind power has the largest share
In addition, electricity consumption had dropped by one percent compared to the same period in the previous year. This is a result of the comparatively weak economy and the decline in industrial production due to the Corona crisis in the last week of March.
If you look at the total electricity generation in Germany of almost 158 billion kilowatt hours to date, the eco share was 49 percent. This figure also includes exported electricity that is not consumed in Germany. Sun, wind and other regenerative sources generated around 77 billion kilowatt hours, around 10 billion kilowatt hours more than in the first quarter of 2019. Around 81 billion kilowatt hours came from conventional energy sources, a good 20 billion less than in the first quarter of 2019.
The largest supplier of green electricity was onshore wind turbines with almost 43 billion kilowatt hours. A good eleven billion kilowatt hours came from biomass and nine billion from offshore wind farms. Photovoltaics (PV) contributed around seven billion kilowatt hours, hydropower around five billion. The rest was accounted for by municipal waste and geothermal energy.
Value creation remains in Germany
“The performance of renewables is very gratifying,” commented Kerstin Andreae, chairwoman of the BDEW general management, on the figures. But it was a snapshot, into which many special effects played out.
“The record numbers are in sharp contrast to the dramatic situation with the current expansion of wind and PV systems.” If the obstacles to further expansion were not removed quickly, the goal of a 65 percent share of green electricity by 2030 could hardly be achieved.
“Especially in view of the economic slump caused by the corona crisis, more investments in renewable energies are worthwhile,” said ZSW board member Frithjof Staiß. Compared to the use of fossil energies, a significantly larger proportion of the added value remains in the country when installing wind energy and solar systems.
“This has a positive impact on the economy and companies.” For investors, renewable energy projects are not very risky and a financially worthwhile option.