Coal mine and wind turbines in Hambach, Germany.
Coal mine and wind turbines in Hambach, Germany. Image: Alice-D Shutterstock

We start 2019 with a historic record. ZSW Research Institute announced that German renewables have overtaken coal for the first time in their history.

Thanks to the increase in photovoltaic installations and the closure of factories and coal mines, the renewable energies beat coal. In this way, it became the largest source of electricity in Germany.

A fact confirmed by Fruanhofer. The record was made possible by good wind conditions, which enabled clean electricity production to exceed 40% of the national mix.

Fraunhofer analysis.

Solar, hydroelectric, wind and biomass energy generated 40% of German electricity in 2018.

With this percentage, fortunately more than 39% coal. Green sources are benefiting from this thanks to the closure of coal-fired power stations as well as the almost 20% increase in solar production capacity.

The rise of renewable energies has been part of the fossil source space, now majority in the supply of electricity.

Renewable energies will remain above 40% during this year 2019 thanks to the new facilities which are under construction in Germany.

What does this 40% green energy mean for Germany?

The percentage increase undoubtedly represents a big step towards the target set for 2030. The year in which it is estimated Germany’s renewable energy will provide 65% of national electricity.

And in which nuclear energy is also expected to have completely left the mix.

Thermal power station and solar park in Germany.
Thermal power station and solar park in Germany. Image: Reinhard Tiburzy Shutterstock

Important data 2018.

  • The increase in solar power last year was 16%. With 45.7 TWh due to the long and hot summer.
  • Installed capacity increased by 3.2 GW. To achieve a total of 45.5 GW. The wind managed to produce 11 TWh. Only with this he conquered part of the 20.4% of the total German production.
  • Coal represents 38% of the total. 24.1%, linked to lignite mined nationally, 9% imported anthracite.
  • Hydroelectricity fell 3.2%.
  • The participation of biomass production was 8.3%.
  • The gas works had a 7.4% stake.
  • Nuclear power provided 13%.
  • The rest was covered by the burning of garbage and oil.