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Germany’s gross electricity consumption in 2018 hit 38% renewables

The number released by industry association BDEW and ZSW show that no technology has grown as much as solar PV – production had increased 18% year on year. Wind energy remains the largest producer of renewables again, with a growth of 7% over the year.

From pv magazine Germany

Renewable energy will have comprised 38% of Germany’s gross electricity consumption in 2018, according to association projections; a two percent increase over the last year. Herein, the report highlights that January, April, and May had been particularly strong months for renewables, as they comprised up to 43% during these times of the year.

These are the results from an estimation executed by German research institute ZSW (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg) and industry association for water and energy economy BDEW (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft). Accordingly, until the year’s end, the total consumption of renewable energy could reach 229 billion kilowatt-hours.

Photovoltaics contributed with 46 billion kWh to this figure through 2018. This is tantamount to an increase of 18% compared to 2017. Onshore-wind energy, however, was the biggest contributor with 94 billion kilowatt hours, also seeing a significant year-on-year increase of 7%. Biomass remained nearly flat at 52 billion kWh – a 2% increase.

Offshore-wind, on the other hand, saw a 10% increase to reach 19 billion kWh in 2018. As weather conditions were unusually dry this year in Germany, hydropower was the only form renewable generation that saw its contribution to gross electricity consumption decrease. Now at 17 billion kWh, it decreased by more than 16%.

The authors caution, however, that the current speed of development of renewable energy assets will not be sufficient to reach the German government’s own ambitions to reach a renewables goal of 65% by 2030. “Therefore we need extraordinary tenders for offshore wind – a lot potential is being wasted in this segment,” says Stefan Kapferer, CEO of BDEW.

CEO of ZSW, Frithjof Staiß, meanwhile urges the development of flexibility options, to harmonize demand and supply with increasing renewable energy penetration. “Politics will have to fashion a policy framework that allows for the lucrative operation of storage systems, Demand-Side-Management, and similar technologies,” he explains.

Additionally, setting the course for the heating and transport sectors is particularly important. Notably, the transport sector would have to deliver measurable CO2-reductions, after fifteen-year inertia.

Source: pv magazine