Germany produces more electricity from renewable sources

August 23, 2022
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In the first half of 2022, renewable energies covered around 49 percent of gross domestic electricity consumption in Germany. The Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) have provisionally calculated this. The share of renewable energies in electricity consumption was thus six percentage points higher than in the first half of last year.

Also in the first half of this year, electricity was massively exported from Germany to France. This was the result of an analysis of export trends over the past six years by the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) . In the balance of the energy exchange, 2 TWh flowed from Germany to France in the first half of 2022. In previous years, on the other hand, Germany obtained more electricity from France.

“The above-average temperatures have caused the waters in France to warm up. As a result, numerous nuclear power plants in France had to reduce their output because they were no longer able to cool down their reactors sufficiently,” explains the BEE.

Before that, a large number of French nuclear plants were offline due to technical problems. About half of France’s nuclear power plants are currently shut down. French President Emmanuel Macron announced in February that 14 new nuclear power plants would be built in the country and that the operating times of old power plants would be extended.

According to the BDEW , wind turbines on land and photovoltaic systems in particular have increased significantly in Germany. Each of these generated around a fifth more electricity than in the same period of the previous year. The increases are due to a windy start to the year and many hours of sunshine in May and June. There was also slight growth in offshore wind energy and biomass.

Overall, gross electricity generation in Germany in the first half of 2022 was 298 billion kWh, 2 percent more than in the same period of 2021. This was offset by electricity consumption of around 281 billion kWh. A total of around 139 billion kWh of electricity was generated from the sun, wind and other regenerative sources. In the first half of 2021 it was 122 billion kWh. Around 59 billion kWh of this came from onshore wind, almost 33 billion kWh from photovoltaics, almost 24 billion kWh from biomass, a good 12 billion kWh from offshore wind and a good 9 billion kWh from hydropower. Almost 159 billion kWh were generated from conventional energy sources. In the same period last year, it was a good 170 billion kWh. The BDEW does not break down the conventional energy sources individually.

“The declining gas flows from Russia have put the energy supply in Germany in an exceptional situation. The surest way to avoid such situations in the future is a rapid expansion of renewable energies,” says Kerstin Andreae, Chair of the BDEW Executive Board. This is also the opinion of the Agency for Renewable Energies, which came to the conclusion through a study comparison that the energy transition and climate protection could also be realized without nuclear power .

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