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25 Sep 2020, 13:41
Julian Wettengel

Renewables cover almost half of German electricity use in first 9 months 2020 – preliminary data

Clean Energy Wire

Renewables covered about 48 percent of German power consumption in the first three quarters of 2020, preliminary data from energy industry association BDEW and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) shows, a 5-percentage point increase over the same period last year. On the one hand, the increase is due to the windy and sunny weather conditions of recent months, which were favourable for electricity generation from renewables. In the first quarter in particular, significantly more electricity was generated from wind than in the previous year. An unusually high number of hours of sunshine also led to a sizeable increase in electricity generation from solar energy of 13 percent compared to the same period last year, write BDEW and ZSW. On the other hand, the coronavirus pandemic led to a reduction in overall electricity consumption of about 5 percent in the first nine months of 2020. "The figures make clear that there is still a long way to go before we reach the target of 65 percent renewables by 2030," said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae, and called for an ambitious renewables reform.

The government this week approved its draft reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), Germany’s main renewables law, to enable a share of 65 percent renewables in 2030 power consumption and a greenhouse-gas neutral electricity sector before 2050. Cabinet ministers fell in line behind energy minister Peter Altmaier’s proposal on how to speed up the roll-out of renewables, ready them for competition, and increase citizens' approval, but industry groups and parliamentarians said some of the changes were counterproductive. They warned that many older wind turbines could stop operating because they lack viable options to run profitably.

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