Germany sources one-third of electricity from renewables in 2015

While its PV installation rate has declined dramatically, Germany’s installed renewable base is continuing to set records. As 2015 draws to a close, an academic from Berlin’s Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) has compiled data showing that around one-third of its electricity demand in 2015 was supplied by renewable sources.

Volker Quaschning published a blog post today in which he concludes that renewables supplied 194 TWh of electricity in 2015, representing 32.5% of a total gross national electricity consumption of 587 TWh. The result is an increase on the 27.4% achieved in 2014.

Onshore wind was the largest source of renewable electricity supply, producing 77.9 TWh in 2015, followed by biomass (49.9 TWh), solar PV (38.5 TWh), hydro (19.5 TWh) and offshore wind (8.1 TWh).

While the result is a good one and reflects positively on Germany’s much publicized Energiewende or energy transition, the level of renewable production still falls short of what is required to limit the effects of climate change to 1.5C increase in temperatures.

“To keep the 1.5 degree climate protection limit the increase of the renewable power generation is still too low,” Quaschning writes on his blog.

The contribution of wind to national renewable totals grew markedly in 2015, Quaschnings figures reveal, with production increasing by 22 TWh Y/Y. This compares to an increase of only 2.4 TWh from solar PV. All other renewable sources saw only marginal increases, with the exception of offshore wind that grew by 6.7 TWh.

Quaschning sourced his data from an alphabet soup of agencies including the DIW, VDEW, BMU, BMWi, AGEB, BDEW. The results echo a prediction made earlier this year by the ZSW for solar energy and hydrogen, and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).