Mild weather and record production from wind and solar has lifted the share of renewable energy in Germany to 31 per cent of production for the first half of 2014.
According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, which this week launched a terrific new website plotting hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly production, solar output increased by 28 per cent from the same period last year.
Wind power grew about 19 per cent, with wind and solar combined making up 17 per cent of total generation. (Just by comparison, South Australia has 40 per cent of “variable” renewable generation).
The rest of the renewable component comes from hydro and biomass, making a total of 81GWh for the first six months.
Nuclear output was steady from previous years, but brown coal output fell 4 per cent from the same period a year earlier, hard coal fell 11 per cent and gas power fell 25 per cent.
The collapse in Europe’s carbon price has meant that while gas has been priced out of the market, and has halved since 2010, the output of brown coal is above the 10 year average, and hard coal is on a par with recent years.
This first graph gives the relative output over each of the first six months of the year.
This second graph shows the history over the last 12 years. It serves as a pretty good reference point to counter some of the myths that are invented about energy production in Germany.
For those wanting to get the exact figures, it’s best to go to the original source and roll the cursor over the various energy types to see how it has evolved.
And while we are on the subject of myths, this graph below might also be useful, putting into context the cost of the energie-wende and its impact on household budgets. Its interesting to note that the 2.6 per cent spent on electricity is about the same as in Australia.