02 May 2018, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann

Renewables briefly cover 100% of Germany's power demand for 2nd time

Clean Energy Wire / Federal Network Agency

Germany's renewable power production briefly exceeded the entire country's electricity demand on 1 May, data provided by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) suggests. Renewable power output on the windy and sunny public holiday reached 53,987 megawatt hours (MWh) at 1pm, while consumption reached 53,768 MWh, according to the BNetzA’s live energy data portal The data suggests that renewable power production exceeded consumption for about two and a half hours. Germany’s economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier said on social network Twitter that it was “great” that the country was able to cover its demand with renewables. “Now transmission lines take precedence so that the power can flow,” Altmaier added. Germany briefly covered 100 percent of its power demand with renewables on 1 January, another public holiday, when wind power alone covered 85 percent of demand. However, the data presented by the BNetzA is still preliminary and energy generation analysts disagree how accurate certain supply and demand measurements are. This means the actual renewables share could be below 100 percent, depending on the methodology and data accuracy.

Find the BNetzA’s live data portal in English here.

For background, read the CLEW article Renewables cover about 100% of German power use for first time ever.

dpa / Handelsblatt

Germany produced more solar power than ever before in the first four months of a year in 2018, boosting power generation by 25 percent compared to 2016, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Handelsblatt. By the end of a particularly sunny April, the country generated 10.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) with solar power installations, according to energy company EON. The power produced would be enough to cover the annual demand of more than four million households, the company says.

Find the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.

ARD / Germanwatch

The natural resources Germany can use sustainably in 2018 have been consumed entirely as of 2 May, public broadcaster ARD reports, citing calculations by climate action organisation Global Footprint. The fact that the date was reached about one week later than the previous year is due to favourable weather conditions that allowed for lower carbon emissions, the article says.
People in Germany live on the expense of other parts of the world and of future generations, NGO Germanwatch says in a separate press release. “We would need three earths to cover this level of demand sustainably,” the NGO points out. There is no trend reversal in resource consumption in sight, says Germanwatch’s Julia Otten, adding: “The ecologic footprint of this country’s people and economy has to become substantially smaller.” According to NGO Global Footprint, the global “overshoot” day will be reached sometime in August.

Find the article in German here and the press release in German here.

Spiegel Online

A massive expansion of France’s renewable power capacity could lead to a wave of cheap nuclear power flooding the energy markets of Germany and other European countries, Markus Becker writes on Spiegel Online. The French “transition énergétique” could mean that solar power, wind power and other renewable power capacities are ramped up significantly while the country’s nuclear power capacity is not reduced proportionally, Becker says. French grid operator RTE proposed several different scenarios for the country’s power mix in 2035, but the government maintains that only those that include a solid share of nuclear power are appropriate in order to meet the country’s climate goals.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.

Erneuerbare Energien

Manufacturing the materials used to build an average single family house in Germany consumes about the same amount of energy as heating an average four-person household for 20 years, Nicole Weinhold writes in renewable energy magazine Erneuerbare Energien. According to a study by the Münster University of Applied Sciences, the area used for residential building and transport infrastructure has grown by over 20 percent since 1992 to nearly 50,000 square kilometres.

Read the article in German here.


Blockchain technology is one of the few digital developments in recent years in which Germany has an advantage, and it could be a decisive tool for pushing the energy transition’s digitalisation, energy management researcher Jens Strüker writes in a guest commentary for Handelsblatt. The country’s energy market digitalisation law so far has largely failed its objective and “the German Energiewende still is an analogue development”, Strüker says. While Germany has become “a blockchain hot spot in the field of energy”, it still lacks an adequate legal framework and inertia in larger companies , causing the technology’s spread to be slower than necessary, Strüker argues. Policymakers should quickly expand blockchain trials and encourage on-the-job training to prevent Germany from losing its edge in blockchain technology, he writes.

Read the commentary in German here (paywall). 

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Blockchain- the next revolution in the energy sector?

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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