German renewables hits almost 50% of consumption

BDEW and ZSW data says share was up to 48% in first three quarters of the year, despite a drop in overall demand

Renewable energy accounted for 48% of Germany’s electricity consumption in the first three quarters of 2020, up five percentage points on the same period last year, according to preliminary data.

The increase was down to favourable weather conditions, particularly for wind generation in the first quarter, said the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wurttemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW), which released the data.

ZSW and BDEW said onshore wind output was up 7% and offshore wind up 10% on last year in the first quarter.

They added that more also sunshine boosted solar output in the spring period by 13%.

But, the organisations said, the percentage increase in renewable energy in electricity consumption is not only down to more power generation.

Half of the increase is due to reduced electricity consumption.

This declined, in particular due to the coronavirus, in the first three quarters of 2020 by almost 5%.

The renewable rate is measured as a share of electricity consumption and, therefore, lower consumption alone already leads to an increase in the renewable quota, ZSW and BDEW said.

In the first three quarters of 2020, gross electricity production was 414 terrawatt-hours, down from 447TWh in the same period last year, ZSW and BDEW said.

Renewables accounted for 192TWh this year, compared with 182TWh last year.

This year onshore wind represented 76TWh, offshore wind 19TWh, solar 46TWh, biomass 37TWh and hydro 14TWh.

BDEW executive chair Kerstin Andreae said: “The numbers are clear: there is still a long way to go to reach the 65% renewable target by 2030.”

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