German renewables outpaced fossil fuels In 2017

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Renewable energy accounted for 112.5 GW of the country’s total 217.6 GW total installed generating capacity in 2017.

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The German Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt announced this week that there was more installed renewable energy capacity in 2017 than fossil fuels for the first time ever, with renewable energy accounting for 112.5 GW of the country’s total 217.6 GW total installed generating capacity.

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) and the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) published their annual joint monitoring report on developments in the country’s electricity and gas markets on Wednesday, revealing that Germany’s total installed generating capacity had increased by 5.8 GW in 2017 to sit at 217.6 GW. Of that, 105.1 GW is accounted for by so-called “conventional” energy sources while 112.5 GW comes from renewable energy sources.

“Renewable energy continues to expand,” said Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur President. “In 2017, there was more installed generating capacity from renewable than from conventional energy sources for the first time. The proportion of electricity generated from renewables continues to grow as well, reaching 36% of consumption last year.”

In terms of actual electricity generation, the capacity figures do not necessarily tell the whole story. Germany generated 601.4 TWh of electricity in 2017 (the same figure as in 2016), of which renewable energy accounted for a total of 204.8 TWh, or around 34%. This, however, is still an increase on previous years, and there was a “disproportionate decrease” in the generation from non-renewable energy sources in 2017, particularly from coal-fired power plants.

In addition to a favourable position for German renewable energies, 2017 also saw an increase in positive competition. “More competition means more choice for consumers and consequently cost benefits,” said Andreas Mundt, Bundeskartellamt President.

“The market share of the largest electricity suppliers for standard load profile and interval metered customers was down again on the previous year and, as for the two largest retail gas markets, was still considerably below the threshold where we presume a dominant position in the market.”

Average electricity prices for household customers sat stable at 29.86 ct/kWh, and remained stable through the first quarter of 2018 at 29.88 ct/kWh.

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