Germany produced enough renewable energy in the first half of 2018 to power every household in the country for a year.
The nation’s combined wind, solar, biomass and hydroelectric power output hit a record 104 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) between January and the end of June, according to energy firm E.On.
The figure is 9.5 per cent more than the same period of 2017 and a third more than three years ago, the company said, citing in-house analysts who supply data to its sales teams.
“This shows how renewables become increasingly important for our energy supply,” said Victoria Ossadnik, head of Munich-based Eon Energie Deutschland.
Wind power accounted for 55 billion kWh of Germany’s renewables output, with 21 billion kWh of generated by solar, 20 billion kWh from biomass energy and eight billion kWh from hydroelectric plants.
E.On said the supply would be enough to power every household in the country consuming an average of 2,500 kWh.
It is the first time the country’s renewable energy supply has topped 100 billion kWh in six months.
The increases reflect the expansion of wind and solar power installations under Germany’s long-term drive towards a low-carbon economy, as well as the exploitation of storms.
The highest input of renewables into the country’s energy grid came on 3 January, when Cyclone Burglind pummelled Europe. Powerful winds accounted for much of the 1.1 billion kWh energy generated, more than 71 per cent of the Germany’s electricity consumption that day.
Renewables accounted for 36 per cent of Germany’s electricity consumption in 2017, according to government figures.
Twenty-nine per cent of the UK’s electricity was sourced from renewables last year.
Germany is aiming to phase out its nuclear power plants by 2022. Its renewable energy has been rising steadily over the last two decades thanks in part to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which was reformed last year to cut costs for consumers.
But Germany still relies heavily on coal, gas and lignite – a coal-like substance formed from peat – for its energy needs.