09 Apr 2021, 09:39
Julian Wettengel

Weak first quarter 2021 for German renewables, but high share over Easter

Clean Energy Wire

[CLARIFICATION: Agora Energiewende said Q1 developments in the power market show greenhouse gas emissions could rise in 2021. Drops reference to 2020 target.]


Unfavourable weather conditions meant that renewable electricity production for Germany’s net public power supply dropped to 57 terawatt hours (TWh) in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 75.8 TWh last year, data by Fraunhofer ISE shows. Wind power was the most important source for public supply and delivered one quarter of electricity. Overall, the renewables share was at 42.7 percent (Q1 2020: 55.6%). Coal and gas power production increased over last year’s period.

Energy think tank Agora Energiewende* wrote in a blog piece that German power plants emitted about 10 million tonnes of CO2 more in the first quarter 2021 than in the same period last year and said this could foreshadow rising emissions this year. "The expansion of renewable energies must continue to be accelerated urgently in order to achieve long-term and sustainable decarbonisation," wrote analyst Fabian Hein.

Meanwhile, renewable energy sources supplied 71.5 percent of Germany’s electricity consumption over the Easter holidays, shows data from the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). From Good Friday to Easter Monday, renewables produced a total of 3.2 TWh, surpassing last year’s Easter production (2.8 TWh). Easter Monday saw the highest share with almost 95 percent, and renewables were able to cover all power needs for most of the day.

Wind, solar PV and other renewable sources overtook fossil fuels in German power production last year. Data for net public power supply represents the power mix at German homes’ power sockets. It does not include power plants’ own electricity needs, or power plants which only supply industry production.

*Like Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is funded by the Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation. 

Source: Fraunhofer ISE.
Source: Fraunhofer ISE.
Source: BNetzA.
Source: BNetzA.
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