BDEW: Renewable Energies Second Most Important Energy Source in 2011

According to preliminary estimates by the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW), renewable energies were the second most important energy source in Germany following lignite (2011: 24.6%; 2010: 23,2%), covering 19.9% (2010: 16.4%) of the energy consumption.

Hard coal accounted for 18,7% (2010: 18,6%) of the electricity generation, while nuclear power only delivered 17,7% (2010: 22,4%) after the shut down of eight nuclear power plants in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident that lead to the change of the German energy policy this summer. Gas power plants accounted for 13,6% (2010: 13,8%). Other energy sources like pumped storage and household waste plants contributed 4,2% (2010: 4,3).

Wind power was again the most important renewable energy source. After a weaker year in 2010, the share of wind power rose to 7.6% (2010: 6%). Biomass came in second, delivering 5.2% (2010:4.4%), followed by photovoltaics that contributed 3.2% (2010: 1.9%) and hydro power (2011: 3.1%; 2010: 3.3.%). The share of 0.8% for renewable energy from waste power plants remained unchanged.

“With a growing share of renewable energy sources their responsibility for the functioning of the German energy system rises. The need for the integration of renewables into the market and the energy system increases. Fluctuating energy sources also have to contribute to the reliability of the electricity system” Hildegard Müller, head of BDEW, commented. Besides, the expansion of the grids did not keep up with the increase of renewable energy, she pointed out. The need for conventional reserve capacities in times when renewable energy sources did not generate electricity due to unfavorable weather conditions remained, Mrs Müller added, remarking that renewables were still far from supplying enough base load power. Electricity generation from renewable energy sources fluctuated in 2011 by up to 3 billion kWh per month, the equivalent of a quarter of the whole renewable energy generation, she said.

Source: BDEW


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