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Renewable Energy Trends In Germany

May 27, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


We saw claims earlier this week about how much renewable energy is contributing to Germany’s electricity. However, electricity only accounts for about 45% of total energy there. How much do renewables contribute in terms of total energy, and what do the trends look like?



From the BP Energy Review, we can see that fossil fuels still dominate energy supply.




It is sometimes forgotten just how much we rely on oil, which supplied 36% of all Germany’s energy in 2014. Consumption has barely changed in the last decade.

Gas consumption fell in 2014, presumably as a result of the Russian sanctions, but coal still remains at a high level, with a share of 25%.

In contrast, despite growth, renewables still contribute only small proportion, even including hydro only 11.7%.

Wind/solar/bio have increased from a share of 3.4% in 2006, to 10.2% in 2014, but the rate of increase has notably declined in the last few years. In the last two years, it has only risen by 1.5%.






It is clear that renewables will remain a bit part player in Germany for many years to come. Meanwhile, when the remaining nuclear capacity is forced to close down by 2022, fossil fuels will be more important than ever.

  1. May 28, 2016 12:03 pm

    What do these 100% claims made by GreenDream bloggers mean ?
    It’s spin enabling GreenDreamers to push a myth that 100& economic renewables are possible
    Complexity makes it easy for GreenDreamers to spin
    There is always ONE real universe : One in which solar/wind/bio produce 10.2%(11.7% including hydro)
    But there are thousands of fantasy universes : like the idea that Germany got 100% of ELECTRICITY from renewables for a short time
    and therefore we are nearly there

    The confusions/deceptions that help them spin
    #1 saying ENERGY when they mean ELECTRICITY ONLY ..which is only a fraction of all energy a country uses

    #2 Balancing off Generation vs consumption ..therefore forgetting about transmission losses

    #3 That 100% renewables never actually happens fossil fuels never actually switch to zero, cos they have to kept spinning for the moment the wind drops. and the renewable amount corresponding to them is actually exported at HUGE discounts.

  2. May 28, 2016 12:11 pm

    Paul yesterday I was trying to get my head around the corresponding story that Portugal had run 4 days straight on renwables.
    – Short answer yes absolutely it did, Portugal is so low in demand and so rich in hydro that it does seem to achieve 63% average, so this time there was a blip due to huge winds
    BUT BUT the long answer is more complex and truthful

    Paul the 2 claims
    #1 Germany ran on 100% renewables (electricty)
    #2 Portugal ran on 100% renewables for 4 days

    The reality
    #1 The first claim was a statistical error , few bloggers will go back to fix.
    #2 Portugal is so low in demand and so rich in hydro that it does seem to achieve 63% average electricity from renewables, but it’s wasting huge money doing it*.
    #3 NO ONE ran on 100% renewables, cos that’s impossible ! : fossil fuels never actually switch to zero, cos they have to kept spinning for the moment the wind drops
    What can happen is that renewables can go upto say 98%, 120% etc., but that difference bit between 100% minus conventionals goes to export at 112% , 97% is used in the home market along with 3% conventionals and 15% oversupply goes for export
    #4 I think there is trick of balancing GENERATION vs CONSUMPTION
    Transmission losses also probably need to be deducted

    * In the Portugal event “some electricity in those days was exported to Spain at prices ranging between € 4 and € 26 / MWh, being paid (for us, Portuguese) over 90 € to producers.” J Ferreira May 25, 2016 at 12:00 pm explained on a post written by Roger Andrews on

    Roger Andrews wondered why the greens UNDERCLAIMED on saying Portugal was 100% renewables when they could have claimed 120%, but my thought is that then people would have started to ask what happens with that extra 20% ?

    I say
    : Portugal runs at 100% Renewables
    actually means
    : Portugal ran at say 97% Renewables, 3% conventionals whilst making VAT LOSSES on an extra 23% it gave to Spain at discount prices.
    and that is a more complex message than Greendreamers want to push.

  3. May 28, 2016 12:19 pm

    There’s another interesting story the GreenDream blogger who wrote the Portugal post was so exhuberhent that he made other simple errors,
    #1 Yes it seems wind was exceptionally high winds and add that to hydro you get over 100%, then you have losses and exports
    #2 The huge photo at the top of the page is actually a wind farm in Holland.
    #3 The first para says “Portugal stopped burning coal in 1994.” That’s not true They stopped DIGGING coal in 1994 ..a commenter points out his local one runs almost all the time ..There’s at least one other listed on Wikipedia, which BTW is an incomplete list cos it doesn’t list the 3 oil power stations in Madeira 228.42MW,
    #4 “Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone”. No it didn’t. Turning of conventional power stations would have entailed an unacceptable risk of vital services going down when the wind dropped.” ..Yep and the excess renewables was exported
    >May 10th Graph showing that Portugal was generating with coal and gas almost all that time

    The fantasy is to think that Portugal’s wind gives much on average or is sustainable without subsidies.For other countries it will not easily translate

  4. May 29, 2016 11:55 am

    and notably Germany managed to push up electricity cost to such levels most low income Germans are forced to cut down on electricity use

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