Historical Record: German Renewables Outperform Coal

Coal mine and wind turbines in Hambach, Germany.
Coal mine and wind turbines in Hambach, Germany. Image: Alice-D Shutterstock

We started 2019 with a historical record . The research institute ZSW announced that German renewables surpassed coal for the first time in its history.

Thanks to the increase in photovoltaic installations and the closures of plants and coal mines,  renewable energy beat coal. In this way it has become the largest source of electricity in Germany.

A fact confirmed by Fruanhofer. The record was possible thanks to good wind conditions, which have made it possible for the production of clean electricity to exceed 40% in the national mix.

Fraunhofer analysis.

Solar, hydroelectric, wind and biomass energy generated 40% of Germany’s electricity during 2018.

With this percentage, luckily  the coal exceeds 39%. Green sources take advantage thanks to the closure of coal plants as well as an increase of almost 20% in solar generation capacity.

The rise of renewable energies has taken part of the space of fossil sources, now being the majority in the supply of electricity.

Renewable energy will remain above 40% during this year 2019 thanks to the new facilities that are under construction in Germany.

What does this 40% green energy mean for Germany?

The increase in the percentage represents a big step, no doubt, to the goal set for 2030. In the year in which it is estimated, Germany’s renewable energy will provide 65% of the national electricity.

And in which it is also expected that nuclear energy has completely left the mix.

Thermal power plant and solar park in Germany.
Thermal power plant and solar park in Germany. Image: Reinhard Tiburzy Shutterstock

Important data 2018.

  • The increase in solar energy last year was 16%. With 45.7 TWh due to the long and hot summer.
  • Installed capacity increased by 3.2 GW. Thus reaching a total of 45.5 GW. The wind managed to produce 11TWh. Only with this it conquered a part of 20.4% of the total German production.
  • Coal represents 38% of the total. 24.1%, related to lignite that is mined nationally, 9% imported anthracite.
  • The hydropower fell by 3.2%.
  • The participation of biomass production was 8.3%.
  • Gas plants had a 7.4% participation.
  • Nuclear power provided 13%.
  • The rest was covered by burning waste and oil.

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