April 2008

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.