26 Mar 2024, 13:18
Julian Wettengel

Higher than average precipitation drives up German hydropower generation

Clean Energy Wire

Above average rainfall since October 2023 has increased hydropower production in Germany in early 2024 to levels not seen since 2018, said the energy industry association BDEW. Hydroelectric power generation rose 34 percent year-on-year in January to 2 billion kilowatt hours (KWh), covering 4 percent of gross electricity consumption in the country. "Hydropower generation is a small but important part of the electricity supply in Germany," BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said, adding that it is "an indispensable building block of the energy transition." Rain has caused the levels of many bodies of water used to generate electricity to rise, particularly in the southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Increased hydropower generation is set to continue in the coming months, BDEW said.

In 2023, Germany produced almost 20 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity with hydropower plants. At the end of January, 6,966 run-of-river power plants with a total net capacity of 3,959 megawatts (MW) were in operation, the association said. These ranged from small plants with an output of less than 1 kilowatt (kW) to large run-of-river power plants with an output of 120 megawatts (MW).

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