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Renewable energy sources are expected to generate more than 50% of Germany’s electricity this year, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said at a conference in Berlin on Monday.
However, the minister from the Green party who is also responsible for climate action, warned that Europe’s biggest economy needs to accelerate the rollout of green energy to meet its climate targets to 2030 and beyond, Reuters reports.
By 2030, Germany aims to have renewables account for 80% of its electricity generation, Habeck said.
“We won't get there at the current pace,” the minister added.
In the first half of 2023, renewables accounted for around 52% of Germany’s gross electricity consumption, data by the German utility industry association, BDEW, and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) showed at the end of June. The share rose by 3 percentage points compared to the same period last year when renewables accounted for 49% of Germany’s power consumption.
Earlier this year, Germany ditched nuclear energy after taking its last three nuclear power plants offline in April, ending more than six decades of commercial nuclear energy use.
Germany, like many other EU countries, is betting on renewables to boost its energy security without Russian gas. But the end of nuclear power generation and the lower natural gas consumption – both due to savings and to no supply from Russia – raised the share of coal-powered generation last year, Germany’s Federal Statistical Office said in March.
Solar and wind power additions are rising, but not fast enough to meet Germany’s targets.
For example, onshore wind power installations jumped in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year, but despite the momentum, capacity additions are still too low to meet government targets, industry association VDMA said in July.
The BWE and VDMA associations noted that “even the significantly rising number of approvals is still far from sufficient to support the expansion target of 10 GW per year from 2025.”
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com