Renewables produce more electricity than coal and nuclear combined in Germany

Sources of renewable energy accounted for 47.3% of Germany’s electricity production during the first six months of 2019, compared with 43.4% from coal-fired and nuclear plants.

The latest figures represent the first time that renewables have produced more electricity than coal and nuclear power combined in the European country.

Energy produced by German wind turbines increased by 20% in H1 2019, largely as a result of favourable wind conditions, while solar panels provided 6% more electricity compared to H1 2018.

In comparison, black coal use fell by 30% on the first half of last year and lignite – a coal-like substance formed from peat – dropped by 20%. The contribution of nuclear power to German electricity production remained largely the same.

Professor Bruno Burger from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems said the fall in coal use was the result of a market-driven ‘fuel switch’ from coal to gas. Electricity production by natural gas increased by 10% in the period.

Germany also plans to phase out nuclear power plants by 2022 as it looks to accelerate its green energy transition, while leaning on natural gas to replace its highly polluting coal-fired plants.