Coal power plants finished second in Germany last year. The biggest energy source in the country was “green” in 2018.
According to experts from the German-based Fraunhofer Institute, renewable energy beat coal for the first time in the country’s history. “Green” energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower accounted for 40.3% of German net electricity production last year, rising by 4.3% compared to 2017. Experts said coal-fired power plants supplied about 38% of electricity in 2018.
As reported by Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, the country has set ambitious energy targets for the upcoming decade, aiming to have renewable sources provide 65% of energy by 2030. The percentage had grown from 8.5 in 2003 to 16.2 in 2008 and 27.2 another five years later.
Even with the 2018 landmark, the change is “not happening quickly enough,” Fraunhofer Institute professor Bruno Burger told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine. “If Germany continues at this rate, we are going to miss our 2030 targets,” he said.
In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that green power sceptics warned that output merely reflects favourable weather patterns and does not prove the sector’s contribution to secure energy supplies. For instance, solar power increased 16% to 45.7 TWh due to a prolonged hot summer.