Growth in solar PV capacity makes up for Germany's cloudy summer 2021
Despite experiencing a comparatively cloudy summer, Germany’s solar PV installations have generated 40.7 terawatt-hours (TWh) worth of electricity between January and August 2021, roughly the same as during the same period in the previous year, when much more sunshine hours were recorded, pv magazine reports based on new figures from the renewable energy statistics group AGEE-Stat. In August, PV systems delivered six terawatt hours of electricity, the same as in August 2020. By the end of July, a net total of 2,893 megawatts (MW) of PV capacity had been added in 2021, an increase of 5.4 percent compared to the first seven months of 2020.
While solar power production remained constant, wind turbines have delivered significantly less electricity: Offshore wind systems generated 14.9 TWh (instead of 17.2 TWh in the first eight months of 2020) and onshore wind contributed 57.7 TWh by the end of August, compared to 70.3 TWh in 2020. This was due to unusally little wind in the spring. In the first six months, onshore wind turbines with a capacity of 959 MW were added - over 60 percent more than in the previous year (594 MW), AGEE-Stat writes. No new offshore wind installations have been added this year.
The share of renewable power in Germany's power consumption in the first half of 2021 dropped to 43 percent, significantly below the 50 percent achieved in the same period one year before, industry associations reported in June. Coal power generation (27.1%) therefore overtook wind power (22.1%), which was the single largest source of electricity in the first half of 2020.