Germany’s green energy production up 1,000%

12 February 2018 | Mitigation

Since 1990, the production of “green” electricity in Germany has increased by 1,000% and export rates, according to preliminary data for 2017, just smashed another record. 

When Germany was reunified, three electricity sources reigned supreme, namely  brown coal that held 31% of the energy mix, hard coal accounting for 26% and nuclear energy standing at 28%, EURACTIV reported.

Renewable energy, mostly hydroelectric, only supplied Germany with 20 terawatt-hours (TWh), less than 4% of all electricity production. After 27 years, the situation looks completely different, especially after the last decade of rapid transformation.

Germany’s production of “green” electricity in 2017 amounted to almost 217 TWh, of which almost half (105 TWh) was supplied by wind farms, 46 TWh by biomass combustion, 40 TWh by solar panels and 7 TWh by biogas combustion.

Hydropower production remained unchanged, according to results from German organization AGEB, which brings together German research institutes and industrial organizations.

The results mean that every third kilowatt-hour produced in Germany last year came from renewable energy sources.

Between 1990 and 2017, the production of electricity in German nuclear power plants dropped by half (to 76 TWh); for hard coal it decreased by one third (to 94 TWh) and for brown coal by 13% (to 148 TWh).

On the other hand, electricity production in natural gas-fired power plants increased by 140% (up to 86 TWh), with the plants being able to react quickly to fluctuations in wind and solar energy generation. Germany produces so much green energy that for most hours of the year the Bundesrepublik has the lowest wholesale price for electricity in Europe and is, therefore, a huge exporter of it.

According to preliminary data, AGEB sold 54 TWh of electricity abroad in 2017–the biggest amount in history. Almost half of it was to Austria (including transmitting electricity through the Polish and Czech transit networks).

Some days, electricity prices actually go into the negative and nuclear power plants must reduce their energy generation by as much as half to prevent significant costs mounting up, this was the case on 28 January.



Source: Financial Tribune