Germany's renewables sector reaches 52% share in gross power consumption for Q1 2020

Preliminary calculations by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) show that electricity from renewable energy sources met 52% of Germany’s gross electricity demand in the first quarter of 2020 thanks to a wind generation record in February, a lot of sunshine in March and a slight decline in power consumption.

The numbers show electricity demand in the quarter stood at 148 billion kWh, down from 151 billion kWh in January-March 2019. The decline was due to a comparatively weak economy and lower industrial production in the last week of March because of the coronavirus outbreak and the efforts to contain it. Onshore wind produced almost 43 billion kWh of power between January and March, enough to meet 29% of demand. When 9 billion kWh of offshore wind output are added to the calculation, wind’s share reaches 35%.  Solar photovoltaic (PV) parks produced 7 billion kWh, biomass plants generated 11 billion kWh, and 5 billion kWh came from hydropower plants (HPPs). The total renewables generation of 77 billion kWh for the quarter also includes energy from waste and geothermal plants. “The record figures stand in sharp contrast to the dramatic situation in the current expansion of wind and PV systems: If the obstacles and caps are not removed quickly, the 65% target by 2030 will hardly be achievable,” BDEW head Kerstin Andreae said. Power generation by conventional energy sources stood at 81 billion kWh in the three months, down from 101.9 billion kWh in the same period of 2019. This drop can be attributed to the closure of some conventional capacities last year and the fact that renewable energy is fed with priority.