In 2020, more than half of all electricity will be eco. 2020 is the year of renewable energies. The proportion of wind, solar, hydro and biomass power plants in the German electricity mix could exceed the 50 percent mark for the first time – also because of Corona.
In 2020, more than half of all electricity will be eco
The share of renewable energy sources in public electricity generation in Germany will probably be more than 50 percent for the first time this year. According to calculations by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), wind, solar, biomass and hydropower plants together produced 52.5 percent of the public net production between the beginning of the year and October 22, i.e. the electricity mix that comes from the socket. In 2019, the share of green electricity was around 46 percent.
“If the wind blows as strongly in November and December as it is usual in these months, the regenerative will make the 50 percent,” said Bruno Burger, professor at Fraunhofer ISE, the SPIEGEL. Excluded from the public net generation are power plants that industrial companies operate exclusively for their own supply – as well as the electricity that the power plants themselves need, e.g. for coal mills in lignite piles.
The strong gains in renewables are largely explained by the Corona restrictions in spring. Mainly due to weaker industrial demand, German electricity demand fell by a good seven percent in the second quarter. In view of the feed-in priority for renewables, some operators have significantly reduced electricity generation using conventional energy sources.
In addition, the electricity prices in the wholesale trade fell so sharply at times that they simply made some of the kilns unprofitable, explains Burger: for example, certain lignite-fired power plants that have particularly high costs for pollution certificates due to their large CO₂ emissions. The share of lignite in the electricity mix has fallen to below 16 percent since the beginning of the year. In 2019 it was still almost 20 percent.
In return, the solar systems have already produced more electricity in 2020 than ever before. With a share of 12.4 percent of the total German mix, photovoltaics is the fourth most important source, just behind nuclear energy. By far the greatest amount of electricity, 103 of a total of 389 terawatt hours produced, comes from wind turbines. These have a 26.5 percent share in total public net generation. Biomass and hydropower plants have generated 9.5 percent and 4.0 percent of the electricity so far this year.