Germany is fast becoming a world leader in renewable energy usage. In the first half of 2012, a staggering 67.9 billion KWh was generated from renewable sources, which is equivalent to 25.97 percent of electricity generation in the country. That is a tremendous leap compared to 20.56 percent in 2011 and 18.3 percent in 2010 for the same period.
While all renewables have increased their share, PV solar contribution had the most dramatic change, increasing by 47 percent. It ranks third in the different technologies, behind biomass and wind power.
A breakdown of the share of the different technologies and their changes compared to the first half of 2011 are as follows:
- 9.2% Wind power, increased by 19.5%
- 5.7% biomass, increased by 7.5%
- 5.3% PV-Solar, increased by 47%
- 4.0% Hydropower, increased by 25%
- 0.9% Other renewables, increased by 10%
A part of the increase was related to weather, for instance January was very windy compared to the previous years. Increased rainfall could also account for the rise in share of hydropower. However, most of the credit goes to the German Government’s efforts for sustainable green energy.
Almost a decade ago in 2002, the share of renewable energy was just 3.8 percent. Except for wind power, most of the renewable energy technologies were relatively underdeveloped during that period. A decade after, these technologies have matured significantly.
Presently, the missing link to achieve a 100 percent renewable energy system is an efficient energy storage. However, research and development into the next generation of storage technologies are under way, while investments are pouring in for the commercialization of the latest existing technologies. Considering all these, after another decade, the share of renewable energies could very well be 40 percent, at least.