Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

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

Christian Aslund / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Anne-Sophie Brändlin

COVID-19 and climate change have been two of the most pressing issues in 2020.

Read More Show Less
Artist's impression of an Othalo community, imagined by architect Julien De Smedt. Othalo

By Victoria Masterson

Using one of the world's problems to solve another is the philosophy behind a Norwegian start-up's mission to develop affordable housing from 100% recycled plastic.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Brett Wilkins

Despite acknowledging that the move would lead to an increase in the 500 million to one billion birds that die each year in the United States due to human activity, the Trump administration on Friday published a proposed industry-friendly relaxation of a century-old treaty that protects more than 1,000 avian species.

Read More Show Less
U.S. returns create about 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. manonallard / Getty Images

Many people shop online for everything from clothes to appliances. If they do not like the product, they simply return it. But there's an environmental cost to returns.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Climate Envoy John Kerry (L) and President-elect Joseph (R) are seen during Kerry's ceremonial swearing in as Secretary of State on February 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Dolf Gielen and Morgan Bazilian

John Kerry helped bring the world into the Paris climate agreement and expanded America's reputation as a climate leader. That reputation is now in tatters, and President-elect Joe Biden is asking Kerry to rebuild it again – this time as U.S. climate envoy.

Read More Show Less