Thanks to favorable weather and record production from solar and wind power, renewable energy accounted for approximately 31 percent of Germany’s electricity generation in the first half of 2014.
Non-hydro renewables made up 27 percent of the country’s power, up from 24 percent last year, according to new data released by the Fraunhofer Institute. And for the first time ever, renewable energy sources accounted for a larger portion of electricity production than brown coal.
Production of wind and solar in particular saw substantial gains over the same time last year. Solar grew by 28 percent in the first half of 2014 compared to 2013 and wind power grew by 19 percent over the same period last year. “Solar and wind alone made up a whopping 17 percent of power generation, up from around 12-13 percent in the past few years,” reported Renewables International.
Helped along by low demand on a holiday, Germany nevertheless set another solar power record in June, generating 50 percent of its overall electricity demand from solar for part of the day. And in May, renewable energy sources combined to account for 75 percent of power demand for part of the day.
As a point of comparison, approximately 13 percent of the U.S. electricity supply was powered by renewables as of the end of 2013, roughly half of Germany’s rate. Germany’s Energiewende, or energy transformation, is an ambitious plan that aims to achieve 80 percent renewable energy generation by 2050.