02 Jul 2018, 13:12
Luke Sherman Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Record renewables share in power generation in first half of 2018

Energy Charts

The net output of renewable energy sources in Germany’s power mix has reached a new record share in the first half of 2018, the website Energy Charts run by research institute Fraunhofer ISE says. With a net generation of 113 terawatt hours (TWh) between the beginning of January and the end of June, wind turbines, solar panels and other renewable sources contributed about 41.5 percent to the country’s total power generation, 9 percent more than during the same period last year and over a third higher than in 2014. Wind turbines produced 55.2 TWh, making them the strongest renewable energy source in the German power mix in the first half of 2018 and second only to lignite plants in total generation which produced 66.7 TWh. Solar power plants fed 22.3 TWh into the grid, over 12 percent more than in the first half of 2017. Hydropower contributed another 12.5 TWh, and bioenergy plants 23 TWh.

Find the website in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany's energy consumption and power mix in charts for more information.

Note: The Clean Energy Wire will publish an article on this topic later today.

Lignite is still of economic significance in Germany’s brown coal regions, and the coal phase-out must be actively managed especially in the economically weak eastern German region of Lusatia, writes the Rhineland-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI Essen) in an in-depth study on Germany’s lignite regions. Lusatia’s level of industrialisation is relatively low, its economy is based on small businesses, the services sector (information and communication) is relatively underdeveloped, and innovation intensity is low. Additionally, the working-age population will decrease by almost a third by 2035, which is twice as fast as for Germany overall, which will make finding skilled labour especially hard, writes RWI Essen. The institute prepared the study for the German government to support the work of the newly appointed coal exit commission.

Find the study in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article Commission watch – Managing Germany’s coal phase-out and the factsheet Coal in Germany.

Tagesspiegel Background

The “chaotic” internal strife in the German government's conservative camp over immigration means that no progress of any kind can be expected in the country's energy and climate policymaking for some time, writes Tagesspiegel Background in an editorial. “It’s especially frustrating that the industry is ready to tackle a big, climate-friendly investment cycle. If things continue the way they are, this possibility will evaporate unused,” writes Tagesspiegel Background.  

You can purchase the Tagesspiegel Background article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article First 100 days - German government in disarray neglects energy policy.

IW Köln

By the end of 2017, renewables expansion in Germany exceeded targets by a considerable margin, but the country still lags behind on several other energy transition indicators, writes Hubertus Bardt for the industry-sponsored research institute IW Köln in a brief report. Bardt assessed Germany’s deviation from a linear path from the 2010 status to the 2020 targets, and found the country to be unsuccessful for example in power grid expansion, or greenhouse gas and power consumption reduction. Bardt also writes that Germany faces a competitive disadvantage as power prices for industry are increasing relative to the European average.

Find the brief report in German here.

For background, read the CLEW articles Climate goal failure warrants high Energiewende priority- gov advisors, Gov advisors say Energiewende will only thrive in European framework and the interview "Energiewende acceptance will become key question" -gov energy advisor.


Disagreement between German environment minister Svenja Schulze and economy minister Peter Altmaier over important measures like a carbon tax or the expansion of the electricity grid is burdening the economy, write Klaus Stratmann and Silke Kersting in the Handelsblatt. Whereas Schulze would like to impose a CO2 price on all economic sectors, Altmaier argues that the contract between the current coalition parties does not call for such a measure. The two also differ greatly in their engagement with heavy industry on reducing the sector’s carbon pollution, they write.

Read the commentary in German here

For background, read the article German environment minister open to national carbon price and the article Energy minister rejects idea of changing fees and taxes on energy.

POWER Magazine

Germany’s years-long investment in, and deployment of, renewable sources of energy have brought down the cost of solar and wind power around the world, Aaron Larson writes in POWER. Other countries seeking to similarly transition to a carbon-free energy supply can also look to Germany for best practices. “Has Germany figured it all out? Probably not. But it has helped move the industry forward, and for that, we should all be thankful,” Larson writes.

Read the commentary in English here.

For background, read the dossier New technologies for the Energiewende.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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