FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Renewable sources met 46.3% of Germany’s power consumption in 2020, 3.8 percentage points more than in 2019, utility industry association BDEW said on Monday, adding that parts of the increase came from a drop in usage in the coronavirus crisis.
“The share of renewables has risen yet again this year,” said BDEW managing director Kerstin Andreae.
“But lower usage masks the fact that the expansion of renewables is not fast enough.”
This year’s green share within domestic power consumption which totalled 543.6 terawatt hours (TWh) compared with 42.5% in 2019.
Consumption itself was down 4.4% year-on-year.
The high share reflects efforts by Europe’s biggest economy to curb climate-warming emissions from thermal power stations by expanding generation from wind and sunshine.
The corona effect came on top, as operators responded to feed-in priority for renewable energy on transport grids, BDEW explained.
Because power demand was dropping, conventional operators scaled back generation from fossil fuels to avoid overproduction as power cannot be stored to vast extents.
BDEW noted there were also beneficial wind and sunshine patterns that drove output higher, but this effect is changeable from one year to another.
Germany wants to raise the share of renewable in its power mix to 65% by 2030 and is just finalising a green law reform bill this week to step up its efforts.
BDEW also offered power production totals for 2020 - some 564.5 TWh were produced, 6.5% less than 2019.
Out of the total, generation from solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric and waste plants amounted to 251.7 TWh, up from 241.6 TWh a year earlier, it said.
Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Ed Osmond
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