Renewables reach 49 percent share of German electricity consumption - experts warn of dependence on China

Germany’s gross electricity consumption was covered 49 percent by renewable energies in the first half of 2022. According to (currently still preliminary) statistics from the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), this is an increase of six percentage points compared to the same period last year. However, at the same time, gross domestic consumption also fell slightly from 283 to 281 terawatt hours (TWh).
Gross electricity generation (including exports), on the other hand, rose slightly in the first half of the year to 298 TWh (H1 2021: 293 TWh). Renewables contributed just under 47 percent of this, with a total of 139 TWh. Onshore wind power covered almost 20 percent of generation with 59 TWh, photovoltaics about 11 percent with almost 33 TWh, and biomass about 8 percent with 24 TWh. Offshore wind power contributed 12 TWh (4 percent) and hydropower 9 TWh (3 percent). Conventional energies generated just under 159 TWh, compared with 170 TWh in the prior-year period.
The increase in electricity production from renewables is mainly due to a roughly 20 percent increase each in wind and solar power, caused by a »windy start to the year in January and February and numerous hours of sunshine in May and June.«
In view of the figures, BDEW Chief Executive Kerstin Andreae pointed to the urgent need to accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. Particularly in the case of onshore wind energy, she said, a lack of land was a »stumbling block.« ZSW’s managing director Frithjof Staiß explained with reference to the targeted pace of expansion of photovoltaics that the associated annual investment volume »in the order of €150 billion« ($156 billion) will »from today’s perspective, to a large extent flow to China.« The dependence on Chinese manufacturers represents »a considerable risk« for the realization of the expansion targets. The German government must therefore advocate, among other things, an »Important Project of Common European Interest« (IPCEI) for photovoltaics at the EU level, as already exists for batteries and hydrogen.
© PHOTON

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