In the first half of 2021, renewable energies covered around 43 percent of gross domestic electricity consumption. This is shown by preliminary calculations by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW). There was a slight increase of around two percent compared to the same period in the previous year in electricity generation from photovoltaic systems, while generation from wind energy (on land and at sea) fell by around 20 percent.
In the same period of the previous year, the share of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption was slightly higher at around 50 percent. The weather was primarily responsible for this. While records were set for electricity generation from solar and wind energy on land in the first half of 2020, the first quarter in particular was unusually calm and lacking in hours of sunshine this year. The weather conditions were more favorable in the second quarter: for the months from April to June, the share of renewable energies was 45 percent.
The values for 2020 were also influenced by the significantly lower electricity consumption in the first Corona lockdown in spring 2020. Since the renewables quota is shown as a proportion of electricity consumption, a lower consumption alone leads to an increase in the percentage value. This year, electricity consumption was back to normal.
“In order to achieve the ambitious climate goals set out in the Climate Protection Act and the European Green Deal, we have to increase the pace of expansion significantly. For the higher CO2 savings target, a share of at least 70 percent renewable energies in electricity generation is required by 2030. ", says Kerstin Andreae, chairwoman of the BDEW management board. “In addition to accelerating the expansion of wind energy on land through more permits and land allocation, we also need a real PV boom with an additional capacity of at least 10 gigawatts per year. This can be achieved with a consistent mix of instruments consisting of financial incentives for companies and citizens, more flexibility in the choice of how to use the generated PV electricity, and a clear reduction in bureaucracy relating to the construction and use of PV systems.
Professor Frithjof Staiß, Managing Director of the ZSW, adds: “The resolution of the new Climate Protection Act is of great importance, but also of great significance. The course must now be set as soon as possible. This is all the more urgent because, from the perspective of planning processes and investment decisions, 2030 will be tomorrow and 2045 will be practically the day after tomorrow. The resolutions seem far too vague for renewable energies. The unanswered question is which measures are to be taken to ensure how the addition of photovoltaics should be doubled compared to 2020 and the expansion of wind energy on land should even be tripled - and not at the end of the decade, but from next year onwards entire decade. Because of the availability of space and the long lead times for larger projects, quick action is required. It is also clear that a significant acceleration in the expansion of renewable energies will not remain free of conflict. Here, too, the federal government has to offer a lot more than was decided in the 2022 immediate program. "
The production figures in detail
In the first half of 2021, gross electricity generation was 292 billion kilowatt hours (billion kWh) - an increase of almost five percent compared to the same period in the previous year (1st half of 2020: 279 billion kWh). This contrasted with electricity consumption of around 285 billion kWh (first half of 2020: 271 billion kWh). A total of around 122 billion kWh of electricity was generated from sun, wind and other regenerative sources (1st half of 2020: 137 billion kWh). Of this, a good 48 billion kWh came from onshore wind, 28 billion kWh from photovoltaics, a good 22 billion kWh from biomass, almost twelve billion kWh from offshore wind and nine billion kWh from hydropower. 170 billion kWh were generated from conventional energy sources. In the same period of the previous year it was 142 billion kWh.
Green electricity share: two calculation options
The share of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption in the first half of 2021 is around 43 percent. The usual calculation basis is to measure the share of green electricity in gross electricity consumption. It is based on European guidelines and is in line with the target definitions of the federal government for the expansion of renewable energies. The gross electricity consumption represents the entire electricity system of a country.
Another possibility is to measure the share of renewable energies in gross electricity generation. It includes the entire amount of electricity generated in Germany, including the amount of electricity exported. The share of renewable energies in the first half of 2021 based on gross electricity generation is around 42 percent.
Contact for the press:
Federal Association of Energy and Water Management V. (BDEW)
Telephone +49 (0) 30 300199-1168
Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)
Tel. +49 (0) 711 7870-315
Translation into English using Google Translate