Renewable energy providing even more electricity than coal and nuclear energy combined in Germany.
Solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power generates nearly a half of country’s output.
Renewable sources of energy created even more electricity than coal and nuclear energy combined for the first time in Federal Republic of Germany, according to new figures. Solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power generation accounted for 47.3 percent of the country’s electricity production within the first six months of 2019, while 43.4 percent came from coal-fired and nuclear energy plants. Around fifteen per cent less CO2 was created than within the same period last year, according to figures printed by the Fraunhofer Institute for solar power Systems (ISE) in July.
However, some scientists have attributed the high renewable power output to favourable weather patterns and “market-driven events”.
Fabian Hein, from the company Agora Energiewende, told Deutsche Welle the twenty per cent increase in wind production was the result of the especially windy conditions in 2019.
Meanwhile, electricity production from solar panels rose by six per cent, gas by ten per cent, whereas the share of nuclear energy within the country’s electricity production has remained nearly unchanged. Black coal use fell by thirty percent compared to the first half of 2018, and coal – a coal-like substance formed from peat – fell by twenty percent. However, over the same period, electricity production by gas rose by ten percent.
Professor Bruno Burger, of the Fraunhofer ISE, mentioned the drop in coal use was the result of a market-driven “fuel switch” from coal to gas. He attributed the switch to low gas costs combined with an increase within the price of CO2 allowances in the EU Emissions trading System. While within the United Kingdom, twenty-nine per cent of electricity was sourced from renewables last year.
Germany is planning to end its nuclear energy plants by 2022. Its renewable energy has been rising constantly over the last 20 years thanks in part to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which was reformed last year to cut costs for customers. But Germany still depends heavily on coal, gas and lignite for its energy wants. Germany’s reluctance to end its dependence on coal saw many climate activists storm one of the country’s biggest open-pit coal mines in June to protest against fuel use.