On Wednesday, data from Europe’s biggest state-funded research and development service showed that renewable energy’s share of Germany’s overall power supply mix rose by 8.8 percentage points in the January to June period to 55.8%
According to data from the Fraunhofer organisation of applied science, solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation together produced 136.1 TWh out of the overall 243.8-terawatt hours (TWh) power production in the last six months.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the total production in the period was down by 11% year-on-year due to sharp falls in demand.
Generators responded by throttling down output at fossil fuels plants, which cannot be stored at a significant scale. While in contrast, green power output was up 8.4% on the year, benefiting from favourable weather conditions, priority dispatch on power networks, and continuously expanding capacity.
High wind speeds and high solar intensity more than overrode a decline in hydroelectric output.
Europe’s biggest economy is aiming for renewables to provide 65% of its power mix by 2030. It plans to abandon nuclear energy by 2022 and has confirmed an orderly long-term exit from hard coal by 2033 and brown coal by 2038.
In the first half, coal burning was the most unfortunate. Output from brown coal plants dropped 36.3% to 33.6 TWh and hard coal plants by 46% to 14.4 TWh in Jan-June, Fraunhofer said.
As carbon emissions price also increased and gas prices declined, more electricity producers switched to generating from gas-to-power plants. Their supply to public grids rose 13.9% to 28 TWh in the six months to June.
The cost of mandatory carbon emissions allowances covering coal and gas-fired power output on Wednesday hit 11-month highs of over 28 euros a tonne.
Reported by Vera Eckert