Germany increases use of renewable energy
Germany is well on the way to meeting its targets for
the expansion of renewable energies. This is demonstrated by the most
recent data on the development of renewable energies in 2007, which have
been published by the German Federal Environment Ministry.
According to calculations carried out by the Working Group on Renewable
Energies – Statistics, renewable energies achieved a share of 14.2 percent
of gross electricity consumption in 2007. This is one fifth more than
the previous year. The increase recorded in one year is enough to supply
a city the size of Hamburg with electricity.
Wind energy supplied is, by far, the largest share of the electricity
generated from renewable energies. This trend was reinforced by the fact
that, after two generally low-wind years, 2007 was characterized by an
above-average supply of wind.
There were also marked advances when it came to the generation of electricity
from biomass, which – together with landfill and sewage gas and the organic
share of waste – overtook hydropower for the first time.
Taken altogether, renewable energies supplied about 222 terawatt hours
(TWh) of energy in the electricity, heating and fuel sectors in 2007.
Their share of Germany’s total energy consumption therefore rose to 8.5
percent last year.
In 2007, renewable energies saved a total of approx. 114 million tons
of CO2; of which about 57 million tons were attributable solely to the
Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).
Renewable energies have become ever more important as an economic factor.
Turnover from the installation and operation of plants in Germany rose
by nearly 10 percent to approximately 24.6 billion euros. This was also
associated with further growth in the number of jobs in the sector, which
now employs about 249,000 people.
This year, with its revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG),
the German Federal Government is setting the parameters for the continued
stable expansion of renewable energies in electricity generation.
In addition to this, the preconditions for faster progress on the heating
market will also be put in place with the adoption of the Renewable Heat
Act (EEWärmeG). Germany is consolidating its role as a pioneer in the
expansion of renewable energies.