German green power up but coal still leads

Renewable electricity generation in Germany increased to 194 billion kWh last year. That represented around 31% of the nation’s gross power production, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Renewable electricity generation in Germany increased to 194 billion kWh last year.

That represented around 31% of the nation’s gross power production, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

It stated renewable electricity growth in 2015 was the largest in both percentage (19%) and absolute terms (32 billion kWh) in at least a decade.

Germany’s energy transition policy, Energiewende, focuses on renewables and sustainable development, with goals including eliminating non-renewable sources from its energy portfolio, phasing out nuclear generation, cutting dependence on imports and lowering carbon emissions.

It has set a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% to 95% by 2050 and gradually phase out nuclear power by 2022.

Despite the increase in green energy production, coal still dominated the power mix, the EIA’s report added.

Last year, 44% of Germany’s electricity was generated from coal, 11% from other fossil fuels and 15% from nuclear energy.

However the share of power generated from renewables is expected to increase to 40% to 50% by 2025 and more than 80% by 2050.

Most of the expected growth is to come from solar and wind, which currently provide around 20% of the nation’s total power. Hydropower and other renewables such as biomass and waste provided 11% of its overall supply in 2015 but these shares are not expected to grow significantly.