Renewable energies covered around 42 percent of electricity consumption in 2021 in Germany

A good 42 percent of the electricity used in Germany came from renewables in 2021. The share of renewables is thus lower than in 2020, when it was just under 46 percent. This is shown by preliminary projections from the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).
Weather conditions were a major contributor to the decline in the share of renewable energy, they said. »Although electricity generation from solar energy increased by almost five percent, the first half of the year in particular was significantly less windy than in the previous year.« In addition, electricity consumption increased again in 2021 as a result of the economic recovery, which had an additional dampening effect on renewables' share of electricity consumption.
In total, more than 582 billion kilowatt hours (billion kWh) of electricity were generated in 2021 - almost three percent more than in 2020 (2020: 567 billion kWh). Of this, 238 billion kWh came from renewables (2020: 250 billion kWh). Onshore wind turbines accounted for the largest share of renewable electricity generation at 92 billion kWh (2020: just over 105 billion kWh). Photovoltaic plants supplied a good 51 billion kWh (2020: 49 billion kWh), closely followed by biomass with just under 50 billion kWh (2020: a good 50 billion kWh). A good 25 billion kWh of electricity came from offshore wind turbines (2020: a good 27 billion kWh). Hydropower plants supplied just under 20 billion kWh (2020: just under 19 billion kWh).
In order to achieve the German government's planned share of renewables in electricity demand of 80 percent in 2030, the expansion must be accelerated. »The new federal government must now promptly remove existing barriers and restrictions and implement the measures announced in the coalition agreement as quickly as possible,« says Kerstin Andreae, Chairwoman of the BDEW Executive Board. This applies in particular »to the acceleration of planning and approval procedures, the provision of two percent of the federal area for wind power plants, a prompt designation of further areas on the high seas for use by offshore wind energy and the reduction of bureaucratic hurdles for PV expansion.«
Frithjof Staiß, managing board member at the ZSW, also considers »the expansion of existing and the establishment of new production sites - for example in the photovoltaic industry - in Germany« to be imperative.

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