Corona Crisis Craters Coal, Rapidly Ramping Renewables Romp

July 2, 2020

German electric production for public power supply, first half of 2020

Fraunhofer Institute:

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE just presented the data on the net electricity generation for the public power supply for the first half of 2020, which is based on data available on the Energy Charts platform. At 55.8 percent, the share of renewables set a new record. In February, their share even reached a new high of 61.8 percent.

In the first six months of 2020, solar and wind fed a total of 102.9 terawatt hours (TWh) into the public grid, compared with 92.3 TWh in the first half of 2019. By contrast, coal-fired power generation declined sharply, with the share from lignite falling to 13.7 percent and hard coal to just 6 percent. Wind power was again the strongest contributor, accounting for 30.6 percent.

Beginning in the second quarter of 2020, there was a noticeably lower demand for electricity due to the decline in industrial production caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, electricity consumption dropped to 35.3 TWh in June (June 2019: 37.6 TWh), and electricity production fell from 47.9 TWh in January to 36.0 TWh in June. In the first half of this year, electricity consumption was 234.2 TWh, a significant drop from 245.7 TWh in the first half of 2019. Similarly electricity production fell by 21.7 TWh to 243.8 TWh compared with the first half of 2019. Part of this decline is due to reduced exports which sank from 20.1 TWh to 7.5 TWh. 

In the first half of the year, photovoltaic systems fed approx. 27.9 TWh into the public grid, an increase of 11.2 percent compared with the previous year (25.1 TWh). The solar power systems benefited from the favorable weather conditions, which allowed more than 6 TWh of electricity to be produced per month from April to June.

Wind power produced about 75 TWh in the first half of 2020 and was thus about 11.7 per cent above the production in the first half of 2019 (67.2 TWh). Due to the numerous winter storms, its share even rose to 45 percent of net electricity generation in February. Hydroelectric production in the first half of 2020 was approximately 9.5 TWh, down 9 percent from 10.5 TWh in the prior-year period. Approximately 23.7 TWh were produced from biomass, a slight increase compared to the previous year.

In total, the renewable energy sources of solar, wind, hydro and biomass produced approx. 136.1 TWh in the first half of 2020 (previous year: 125.6 TWh). The share in the net public electricity generation, i.e. the electricity mix that actually comes out of the socket, is approx. 55.8 percent, a sharp increase compared to 2019 (47 percent). The share of renewables in the total gross electricity generation rose above 50 percent for the first time. Gross electricity generation also includes the industry’s own production (companies in the manufacturing sector as well as in mining and quarrying) and the internal losses of conventional power plants. Both of these are not fed into the public power grid.

Germany is not the only place where renewables are shining in the Covid crisis.

7 Responses to “Corona Crisis Craters Coal, Rapidly Ramping Renewables Romp”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Audacious AGW Activist Ardently Alliterates

  2. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Yeah, so what?
    Everyone* knows that Germany gets more sun than the US!
    *who watches Fox News

  3. Sir Charles Says:

    To achieve the Paris climate targets, world 4th worst climate polluter 🇩🇪 #Germany has to stop burning #coal at the latest by 2028❗️

    👉 Thread:

  4. J4Zonian Says:

    It’s not the peaks that matter, it’s the lows we have to track and work toward filling with clean safe renewable energy, demand response, and storage when and where it’s needed.

  5. redskylite Says:

    I never really liked the idea of making the concept of stopping CO2 emissions for energy production a country vs. country competition, but hope that all countries will arrive to a shared goal by their own method and own efforts. Just a reminder why it is so imperative, once again Carbon Brief excel with this explainer:-

    ”Carbon Brief explores how the last ice age provides strong evidence of the role CO2 plays as a “control knob” for the Earth’s climate. It also acts as a cautionary tale of how the climate can experience large changes from relatively small outside “forcings”.”

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