Little wind and sunshine let German renewables share slide in first half of 2021
Clean Energy Wire
The share of renewable power in Germany's power consumption in the first half of 2021 has dropped to 43 percent, significantly below the 50 percent achieved in the same period one year before, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) have said. The main reason for the lower output of renewable power installations has been unfavourable wind conditions and fewer sunshine hours, especially between January and March, the organisations said. While solar power generation grew slightly by two percent compared to 2020, wind power production both from offshore and onshore turbines dropped 20 percent "mostly due to the weather," BDEW and ZSW said. In order to meet national and European climate targets, much quicker construction of new solar and wind power installations would be necessary, BDEW head Kerstin Andreae argued. "Given the higher CO2 reduction target, a 70 percent share of renewables in power production by 2030 is needed," Andreae said. However, it remains unclear how the government plans to achieve the renewable power expansion levels associated with tighter climate targets, ZSW head Frithjof Staiß added.
The data provided by the organisations showed that power production in the first half of this year totalled 292 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), 4.7 percent more than in the year before. At the same time, power consumption climbed 5.2 percent to 285 billion kWh, partly due to catch-up effects following depressed consumption due to pandemic-induced lockdowns. Renewable power output, on the other hand, fell from 137 to 122 billion kWh. Despite a drop in production, onshore wind power remained the most important renewable power source, feeding 48 billion kWh into the grid, followed by solar power (28 billion kWh), biomass (22), offshore wind (12) and hydro power (9). Power production from conventional sources increased nearly 20 percent to 170 billion kWh.
Germany's 2030 goal is to reach a share of 65 percent renewables in the power mix. But due to a possible quick phase-out of more fossil power capacity, industry representatives and environmental groups alike have called for ramping up the goal to at least 70 percent by the end of the decade.