FRANKFURT: Renewable energy took over coal as Germany’s main source of energy for the first time last year, as per a research report released by Fraunhofer Organization of Applied Science.
The leap from fossil fuel to renewable energy marks the progress of Germany as it aims for renewables to provide 65 percent of its energy by 2030 and is making plans for an orderly long-term exit from coal.
The research showed that output of solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation units increased by 4.3 percent last year to produce 219 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity out of total national power production of 542 TWh derived from both green and fossil fuels, of which coal accounted for 38 percent.
“We will not fall below 40 percent in 2019 because more renewable installations are being built and weather patterns will not change that dramatically,” said Bruno Burger, author of the Fraunhofer study.
As per the Fraunhofer data, Solar power increased by 16 percent due to a prolonged hot summer, while installed capacity expanded by 3.2 GW to 45.5 GW last year.
The wind power industry produces a total of 111 TWh from both onshore and offshore wind mills constituting about 20.4 percent of the total power output.
Hydropower contributes only for 3.2 percent of power production at 17 TWh, as during summers rivers dry out.
Coal plants run on imported hard coal contributed 75.7 TWh, or 13.9 per cent of the total.