By Roy L Hales
Germany’s renewables have set a new record. According to the Fraunhofer institute, they produced about 81 TWh, or 31% of the nation’s electricity during the first half of 2014. Solar production is up 28%, wind 19% and biomass 7% over last year. Meanwhile, with the exception of nuclear energy, all conventional sources are produced less. The output from gas powered plants was half of what it had been in 2010 and brown coal powered plants are produced at a similar level to 2010-2012.
“The reoccurring records for renewables in Germany demonstrate the incredible success of Germany’s EEG legislation,” says Max Hildebrandt, renewable energy industry expert at Germany Trade & Invest, the country’s foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency.
The Solar (37.5 GW) and Wind (34.6 GW) sectors also led the nation, in terms of new capacity installed.
These two energy sources work well together. As you can see in the chart below, the strongest winds come during the winter. They are dying down in March and April, when solar energy starts growing strong. By June the sun is providing twice as much energy.
Despite this, Germany derives more energy from coal than other energy source. During the first half of 2024: brown coal produced 69.7 TWh, hard coal produced 50.9TWh and nuclear energy 45.0 TWh.
Germany has been an energy exporter since 2003. Its prinicpal customer has been the netherlands, followed by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Germany has set new records during 2012 and 2013 and appears to be on its way to do this again. It exported 18 TWh during the first half of 2014, as compared to 14.5 TWh during the same period in 2013.
(Image at top of page: ‘Energy Mountain‘ Georgswerder | © mediaserver.hamburg.de/photoacademy GmbH