Share of Renewable Energy in Gross Electricity Consumption Rises to 17%

The share of renewable energy in gross electricity consumption in Germany rose to 102.3 TWh or 17% (2009: 16.4% or 95 TWh), BDEW reported based on preliminary estimates for 2010.

Hildegard Müller, head of  BDEW, welcomed the continued increase of renewable energy, but pointed out that due to the intermittency of renewable energy and in the absence of suitable storage technologies, renewable energy was far from being able to provide sufficient base load energy. The power plant fleet of the future needed to comprise a broad spectrum of plants, ranging from decentralized combined heat and power plants to centrally located large power plants to provide base load energy.

With 2010 being again a weak year for wind energy, the share of wind energy dropped to 6.2% (2009: 6.7%), despite additional capacity. Biomass contributed 4.7% (2009: 4.4%), hydro energy 3.2% (2009: 3.3%), solar energy 2.0% (2009: 1.1.%), and waste power plants 0.8% (2009: 0.9%).

BDEW provided the following further figures for the share of renewables in gross electricity consumption (in TWh):

Source/Year 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010* 2010 in %
Hydro 25.5 19.6 20.0 21.2 20.4 19.1 19.5 3.2
Wind 9.5 27.2 30.7 39.7 40.6 38.6 37.5 6.2
Biomass 1.4 12.0 14.5 19.1 22.3 25.5 28.5 4.7
Waste** 1.9 3.0 3.9 4.5 4.7 5.2 4.8 0.8
PV 0.0 1.3 2.2 3.1 4.4 6.6 12.0 2.0
Total 38.3 63.2 71.4 87.5 92.4 94.9 102.3 17.0

* preliminary and rounded  ** only renewable part

Consumers have to bear the difference between market prices for renewable energy and the feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) mainly by paying the so-called EEG reallocation charge. According to BDEW, the EEG reallocation charge will cost consumers EUR 3.3 billion in 2010, but will more than double to EUR 6.8 billion in 2011. Next year, PV systems will account for more than 50% of the EEG reallocation payments, despite the rather smaller share of solar energy. “The figures show that we need a stronger market-orientation of renewable energies, if we want to maintain a grip on costs so as not to burden customers unreasonably”, Mrs Müller said.

Source: Press Release BDEW

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