Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Germany Exceeds 50% Renewable Energy Use Milestone

Renewable Energy
In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.


The federal BDEW energy and water federation and Baden-Württemberg state's ZSW solar and hydro research center observed a 7% percent renewables jump from 44.4% in the same period last year, in comparison to fossil fuel consumption.

Wind, especially offshore wind turbines, solar panels and other sources generated 77 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) compared to 67 kWh in the first quarter of 2019.

Using the standard EU's electricity consumption measurement, Germany's total, also from conventional coal, gas and nuclear plants, amounted to 148 billion kWh.


The 7% jump in renewables came despite conventional plant closures and pandemic impacts on industry, officials said, while also noting "special effects" such as record winds in February and plentiful sun in March that benefited turbines and voltaic panels.

That trend could, however, not be extrapolated for the whole of 2020, warned the BDEW and ZSW, pointing to local objectors and current investor indecision.

Some residents, arguing on health and scenic grounds, resist the building of more wind turbines and the laying of extra arterial power lines to transmit electricity captured at North Sea wind farms to Germany's industrial south.

The record figures stand in contrast to investment deterrents, which if not quickly removed would make Germany's target of 65% self-sufficiency unreachable, said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae.

Germany's pandemic-induced economic woes compounded the situation, Andreae added.

Given the current downturn, ZSW executive board member Frithjof Staiss contended that investors would turn to renewable energy projects that were less fraught with risk than the current "volatile share market."

The renewables record, noted the BDEW and ZSW, was achieved despite the shutdown of Germany's Philippsburg 2 nuclear power plant at the end of 2019 and the placing of brown coal power plants on standby to cover emergencies.

Using another measure, gross electricity produced, the two groups calculated that with exported electricity included in their calculation, renewable sources made up 49% of Germany's gross electricity production in the first quarter of the year.

Reposted with permission from DW.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Luxy Images / Getty Images

By Jo Harper

Investment in U.S. offshore wind projects are set to hit $78 billion (€69 billion) this decade, in contrast with an estimated $82 billion for U.S. offshore oil and gasoline projects, Wood Mackenzie data shows. This would be a remarkable feat only four years after the first offshore wind plant — the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island — started operating in U.S. waters.

Read More Show Less
Giacomo Berardi / Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the strengths and limitations of globalization. The crisis has made people aware of how industrialized food production can be, and just how far food can travel to get to the local supermarket. There are many benefits to this system, including low prices for consumers and larger, even global, markets for producers. But there are also costs — to the environment, workers, small farmers and to a region or individual nation's food security.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Joe Leech

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less