Germany: Renewables overtake coal as main power source

06 Janvier, 2019, 23:07 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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Germany added 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of solar to an existing 45.5 GW previous year.

Research from the Fraunhofer research organisation suggests output from solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation units rose 4.3% past year to produce 219TWh, accounting for more than 40% of electricity production.

As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's worldwide broadcaster, the country has set ambitious energy targets for the upcoming decade, aiming to have renewable sources provide 65% of energy by 2030. Experts said coal-fired power plants supplied about 38 percent of electricity in 2018.

Renewable sources accounted for 40.3 percent of German electricity production in 2018, up from 38.2 percent in 2017 and 19.1 percent in 2010.

"We will not fall below the 40 per cent in 2019 because more renewable installations are being built and weather patterns will not change that dramatically", he said.

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Green power skeptics say that output merely reflects favorable weather patterns and does not prove the sector's contribution to secure energy supplies. For instance, solar power increased 16% to 45.7 TWh due to a prolonged hot summer.

The wind power industry produced 111 TWh from combined onshore and offshore capacity of just under 60 GW, constituting 20.4 per cent of total German power output.

Coal plants run on imported hard coal contributed 75.7 TWh, or 13.9 percent of the total. Lignite or brown coal powder remains the largest single energy supplier, accounting for 24.1 percent of Germany's energy in 2018. Biomass output contributed 8.3 percent.

Gas-to-power plants accounted for 7.4 per cent of the total; nuclear energy for 13.3 per cent; with the remainder coming from oil and waste burning.

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