Renewables to exceed half of German electricity use in 2023
by AFP Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Dec 18, 2023
More than half the electricity consumed in Germany in 2023 will have been generated from renewables for the first time, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) said on Monday.
According to preliminary figures, Germans will consume a total of around 517 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity this year, compared with 540 billion kWh in 2022.
Some 52 percent of that will come from renewables, compared to 47 percent in 2022, the agency said.
“The figures show that we are on the right track,” said Kerstin Andreae, chair of the BDEW executive board.
Germany is aiming to obtain 80 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power by 2030.
But plans to decarbonise energy production in Europe’s biggest economy were thrown into disarray by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the subsequent cut to sorely needed gas supplies from Russia.
The government brought mothballed coal-fired plants back online to take the pressure off gas-based electricity production.
The reactivated coal plants will operate until March 2024.
Germany is set to generate 508 billion kWh of electricity in 2023, the BDEW said.
Of that, a quarter (26 percent) will come from coal.
In 2022, the pollutant fossil fuel accounted for almost a third of electricity production.
Germany is sticking by its pledge to exit coal completely by 2030 but doubts persist.
Berlin has vowed to cut red tape for installing wind turbines and plans to only approve new gas-fired power plants if they can be converted to run on “clean” hydrogen.
Some observers, however, say the pace is still too slow.
Germany also shut down its last remaining nuclear power plants in April this year, a long-planned step which some critics argue could make it harder to hit climate targets.