German renewables share jumps to 38% for 2018, nearly catches coal

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Germany share of renewables jumps to 38 per cent for first nine months of 2018, just a whisker short of declining black and brown coal generation.

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Germany passes its 2020 target for renewable energy three years early (Photo by Usein, edited, CC BY-SA 1.0)
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Germany is edging ever closer to its national target of 65 per cent renewable energy by 2030, with new data showing wind and solar produced 38 per cent of the electricity consumed in the country between January and September 2018.

The figures mark an increase of three percentage points over a year earlier, according to utility association BDEW, and were boosted by the renewables’ share reaching 43 per cent in the months of January, April and May.

“If we have an average amount of wind in the fourth quarter, renewables could also cover 38 percent over the entire year,” BDEW said in a statement.

But for the first three quarters of the year, this means that renewables produced almost 170 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), while lignite and hard coal added up to about 172 billion kWh.

“Clearly, renewables are in the fast lane, while the contribution of conventional energy sources to cover gross power consumption is falling continuously,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer.

“But we still have a lot of work ahead of us to reach the target of a 65 per cent renewables share by 2030.”

Meanwhile, the rise in renewables generation has helped to set Germany’s carbon emissions on course for their largest drop since the 2009 recession, the Clean Energy Wire reports.

Strong renewable power production and warm temperatures lowered Germany’s CO2 emissions by around 7 per cent in the first nine months of 2018, according to the calculations by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB).

“If a decrease of this magnitude is sustained throughout the whole year, it would be the sharpest decline since the 2009 recession,” CEW said.

AGEB said the country’s energy consumption would likely drop by almost 5 percent in the entire year due to higher energy prices, warm weather and increasing efficiency, outweighing solid economic growth and a population increase.

Germany currently boasts the world’s fourth-largest national economy – and Europe’s largest.

“Because the drop in consumption concerns all fossil energies, while CO2-free energy production increased, AG Energiebilanzen expects a disproportionate decrease of CO2 emissions,” AGEB said in a press release.

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