In Germany: Fossils Down, Renewable Up

July 3, 2014

Low solar resource has not stopped Germany from leading the world in deployment.

Low solar resource has not stopped Germany from leading the world in deployment.

I’ll be doing another Real News interview later today. This is one of the news items I may touch on.
Beloved-by-deniers notions about German Renewables get another shot below the waterline.

Craig Morris in RenewablesInternational:

German utilities organization BDEW has published its data for Q1 2014, showing that power from hard coal was down by 17.4 percent, while power from lignite was down by 4.8 percent. The biggest loser, however, continues to be natural gas, which was down by 19.7 percent.

The figures confirm Fraunhofer ISE’s data provided based on preliminary figures last month – and forecast in January. In addition to the downturn in power from fossil fuels, nuclear power was down by 4.6 percent – almost exactly the same level as lignite, a clear indication that those two power sources are roughly equally inflexible.

Power from biomass grew by 5.4 percent. Solar power production was up by 82.5 percent, compared to 20.6 percent increase in onshore wind. Power from offshore turbines group from a negligible level by 33.5 percent.

Overall, the share of renewables was up as a share of total power consumption from 23.4 percent last year to 24.7 percent in Q1. As a share of domestic demand (excluding exports), the share of renewables rose from 25 percent to 27 percent.

 

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9 Responses to “In Germany: Fossils Down, Renewable Up”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Progress is good, I guess. But please look at the numbers at the close that really tell the tale.

    “Overall, the share of renewables was up as a share of total power consumption from 23.4 percent last year to 24.7 percent in Q1.”

    “As a share of domestic demand (excluding exports), the share of renewables rose from 25 percent to 27 percent”.

    A rise from 23.4% to 24.7% is 1.3%, and from 25% to 27% is 2%. I hope everyone understands the math that produces those figures and how projecting them can be misleading, especially when compared with the other “%-ages” mentioned in the article. To wit:

    hard coal was down by 17.4 percent
    lignite was down by 4.8 percent.
    natural gas was down by 19.7 percent
    nuclear power was down by 4.6 percent

    biomass grew by 5.4 percent
    solar power production was up by 82.5 percent
    20.6 percent increase in onshore wind

    A small clue is provided by “power from offshore turbines grew from a NEGLIGIBLE level by 33.5 percent”.


  2. If you dig a little deeper, you find the reason for this “dramatic improvement.” Comment #6 by Thomas on the renewablesinternational.net link:

    ” Thomas – 30.04.2014, 18:33 Uhr (Report comment)
    Hi James, it should also be noted that the Fraunhofer Graphs do not include industrial own generation. They show net generation from lignite, hard coal, gas & nuclear by what is called “power plants in the public supply” and RE generation. ”

    How big is “industrial own generation?” Very big. It grew by 50% last year. Here is the whole story on that:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304899704579390871434033460

    http://greenzone.co/2014/03/16/german-businesses-going-grid-one-six-companies-produces-electricity/

    For those too lazy to click on the links (the majority here?), one in six companies in Germany produce their own electricity. That amounts to 16% of Germany’s industrial production, and it’s a 50% increase from just last year. They do this because Germany’s electric power is becoming too expensive for these companies to afford, thanks to the feed-in tariff. The figures produced by Fraunhofer do not include this private power production, thus the more companies that switch to private power production, the more it looks like Germany’s demand for electric power is falling rapidly, when in fact it’s probably changed very little.


    • One more way the “Greens” cook their books.

      The German increase in CO2 emissions has been attributed to transportation, but what if it is due to coal-fired “own generation” substituting for too-costly grid power?  The Energiewende could be going backwards.  Europe’s ETS could have both revealed and limited this… if its books weren’t also being cooked by flooding with permits.


  3. More about private power production: good short interview with BASF’s chairman (though I think he stepped in it when he gave his endorsement to fracking, a business his company isn’t in):

    http://www.basf.com/group/management-interviews/bock_spiegel_1113


  4. German FF CO2 emissions.

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/ger_reg.html

    And renewable growth vs targets

  5. j4zonian Says:

    “Power from offshore turbines group” should be “Power from offshore turbines GREW” ?


  6. German Q1 and Q2
    “Germany nevertheless set another solar power record in June, generating 50 percent of its overall electricity demand from solar for part of the day. And in May, renewable energy sources combined to account for 75 percent of power demand for part of the day.”
    “brown coal generation is down four percent and the production of hard coal-fired power plants decreased 11 percent ”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/07/08/3456934/renewable-one-third-germany/


  7. “And for the first time ever, renewable energy sources accounted for a larger portion of electricity production than brown coal.”


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