27 Jun 2023, 12:05
Julian Wettengel

Renewables covered more than half of German electricity consumption in first half of 2023

Clean Energy Wire

Wind, solar and other renewable energy sources covered 52 percent of German electricity consumption in the first six months of 2023, up from 49 percent in the first half of last year, preliminary data by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and energy industry association BDEW show. A very sunny month of May, with record monthly solar power input of 8.8 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), made a big contribution, and June could even surpass this record, said the two organisations in a press release. “Twenty years ago, hardly anyone would have thought it possible for us to generate more than half of our electricity from renewable sources,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. She warned that a lack of skilled workers could represent a bottleneck for renewables buildout on the path to climate neutrality 2045, as many companies were had difficulties finding suitable employees today. “In the coming years, the situation could worsen drastically,” she said.

Overall gross electricity production was at 266 billion kWh in the first half of 2023, a decrease of 11 percent compared to the same period last year. Electricity consumption dropped from 281 billion kWh in the first half of 2022 to 263 billion kWh one year later. High energy prices in the energy crisis have led to reduced energy use already during much of 2022, with households and industry cutting their use in response to market developments and pleas by the government to conserve energy. This trend also persisted in early 2023, energy market research group AGEB said in early June. Of the total consumption in the first half of 2023, 58 billion kWh came from onshore wind, 33 billion kWh from photovoltaics, 22 billion kWh from biomass, 12 billion kWh from offshore wind, and 10 billion kWh from hydropower. Germany aims to increase the share of renewables in electricity consumption to 80 percent by 2030 and have a largely emission-free supply by 2035.

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