Did Germany just surpass 100% renewable electricity?

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Just a week after approaching 90 percent renewable electricity or more, Germany may have reached 100% yesterday. But the data estimates are still moving.

Germany would only need another two decades to reach 100 percent renewable power – theoretically. (Photos by SteKrueBe, modified, CC BY-SA 3.0 and Marie-Christine Schindler, modified, CC BY-SA 2.0)
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Renewables International

Just a week after reporting a peak of more than 90 percent renewable power, Agora now shows for the first time that green electricity may have briefly touched and slightly surpassed 100% of Germany’s electricity demand on May 15.

However, live stats are just guesstimates, and Agora’s now shows slightly less than 90% (some 56 GW of 64.4 GW) on May 8, when much was written about the previous peak of more than 90 per cent.

germany 1

This chart above is the latest on recent developments, but expect that chart to change over the next few days. (Renew ed: For those looking to read the chart, it shows that wind (blue) and solar (yellow), combined with hydro and biomass (which provide constant supply, to meet all demand (red line) for a period in the early afternoon).

If the past is any indication, the percentage will be revised downwards. And even then, Agora simply may be off. We won’t know for certain until next year.

If you would like to write about this, remember the following:

  • No, Germany did not just get 100% of its energy from renewables. It briefly got around 100% of its electricity from renewables. Power makes up some 20% of energy consumption in Germany. The Germans have some 15% green energy overall.
  • Wind and solar cannot produce negative wholesale prices. Wind farms and solar arrays will never pay you to take electricity off their hands; they will simply curtail.
  • Negative prices come from baseload power plants. They are the ones that would rather pay you to consume tha ramp down below their must-run level. So you have got to get rid of baseload if you want solar and wind.
  • No, seriously, you have got to get rid of baseload.
  • Nuclear is the most inflexible type of baseload. So forget about combining nuclear with wind + solar. They don’t mix any more than oil and water do.
  • 100% renewable power peaks are not just an accomplishment, but also a challenge. Here, the easy part ends and the hard part begins. We still only have 20% wind and solar on the German grid. Moving further means peaks of 120% and more.

The nuclear phaseout will help push off baseload by the end of 2022. Then, storage will increasingly be needed (starting with power to heat, not batteries).

Keep checking Agora’s website to see how the guesstimate develops.

This article was originally published on Renewables International. Re-produced with permission.

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1 Comment
  1. Suburbable 3 years ago

    100%”renewables can be achieved every day, but I know it’s easy to manipulate figures snd stats. We often criticize the fossil fuels lobby about dodgy figures while believing everything the renewables lobby tell us because it accords with what we want for the a better world.

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