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26 Mar 2021, 13:46
Julian Wettengel

Renewables cover 40% of German power consumption in first quarter 2021

Clean Energy Wire

Power generated from renewable energy sources covered 40 percent of total consumption in Germany in the first quarter of 2021, down from 52 percent in the same period last year, as weather conditions brought little wind and sunshine, write the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and energy industry association BDEW. In the first quarter of 2020, strong winds and a high share of sunshine hours had resulted in a record renewables share. This year’s preliminary data “show us how important it is to develop high-performance storage technologies in order to be able to compensate for phases with unfavourable weather conditions,” said BDEW managing director Kerstin Andreae. In addition, renewables expansion had to be increased, especially for onshore wind power. “To turn the tide, we need faster approval procedures, more areas for wind turbines and a simplification of repowering at existing sites,” she said. Frithjof Staiß, managing director of ZSW, called on the government coalition to increase 2030 expansion targets. “Rapid action is required, also against the backdrop of the expected increase in the 2030 climate target at the European level,” he said.

In 2020, renewables produced an annual record 46 percent of German power consumption, but throughout the year, generation varies due to the seasons and changing weather conditions. Germany must massively expand wind and solar energy to reach climate targets, and the government coalition has said it would increase 2030 targets by the end of March to reflect a more ambitious 2030 EU climate target. The government also aims to take into account projections of rising power needs resulting from the electrification of sectors such as transport. However, a lobbying scandal engulfing Angela Merkel's Conservatives has derailed the talks about Germany's plans for rolling out renewables.

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