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Renewables cover 56% of Germany’s electricity needs in first quarter of 2024

An offshore wind farm near Germany
A wind farm off the German coast. Photo: Per Bjorkdahl/Dreamstime

Renewable energy technologies covered 56% Germany’s electricity needs in the first quarter of 2024, according to preliminary calculations by clean energy research group ZSW and utility association BDEW. That’s up from 50% in the same three months of 2023.

The increase came as wind and solar installations advanced and hydropower output recovered, and after Germany shut its last nuclear power plant in April 2023.

The country installed another 3.7GW of solar PV in the first quarter, up from 2.7GW a year before, according to the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur).

“The steadily increasing share of renewable energy in electricity consumption shows that we are on the right track,” Kerstin Andreae, BDEW chair, said in a statement. But much still needs to be done to meet Germany’s power-sector decarbonisation plans, such as expanding the transmission grid, Andreae said.

Frithjof Staiß, managing director of ZSW, said shifting to a 100% low-carbon grid by 2035 requires “integrated infrastructure planning for electricity and hydrogen” and strong implementation processes.

“The implementation of the hydrogen core network could be significantly delayed if the financing conditions agreed cannot sufficiently activate a private sector chapter,” Staiß warned.

The government aims to get to 80% renewable power by 2030. Among other things, the country will need to get to 215GW of installed solar PV capacity by the end of the decade, from 86.2GW currently, according to the state’s energy strategy.

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