28 Sep 2021, 13:34
Charlotte Nijhuis

Renewables cover 43% of German electricity consumption in first three quarters of 2021

Clean Energy Wire

Power generated from renewable sources covered around 43 percent of total electricity consumption in Germany in the first three quarters of 2021, down from 48 percent in the same period last year, show calculations by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and energy industry association BDEW. The high share of renewables in 2020 was made possible by an unusually windy first quarter and significantly lower electricity consumption due to the pandemic, the BDEW writes. This year, electricity consumption is back at the usual level. "The energy transition must be at the top of the new federal government's to-do list," said Kerstin Andreae, chairwoman of the BDEW executive board. "Above all, this means: more speed in the expansion of renewables, especially onshore wind energy. Obstacles, such as lengthy planning and approval procedures, a lack of land and inconsistent regulations on species protection, must urgently be removed,” she said. In order to compensate for periods with unfavourable weather conditions, the development of storage capacities must also be advanced and investments must be made in power plant capacity based on gas, Andreae added.

"We also need to make much faster progress in electricity efficiency," said Frithjof Staiß, executive director of the ZSW. "This is imperative because electricity demand will increase significantly due to the new electricity applications in transport, the heating market and industry, as well as for the production of 'green' hydrogen,” he said. “The new German government must pay more attention to this if it wants to achieve the ambitious climate protection target of 65 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 by the year 2030."  

The share of renewable power in Germany's power consumption in the first half of 2021 dropped to 43 percent, significantly below the 50 percent achieved in the same period one year before, the two organisations reported in June. Renewables expansion is set to be a key energy policy issue in the next German government's coalition agreement, which parties will negotiate over the coming weeks and months.

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