Renewables, led by wind, provided more power than coal in Germany in 2018

Several offshore wind turbines.

Enlarge / Gode wind farm
off the coast of Germany. (credit:
Ørsted
)

According to the Fraunhofer Institute, Germany’s renewable power
sector produced more electricity than coal in 2018 for the first
time ever, with renewables providing 40 percent of the year’s
produced electricity and
coal providing 38 percent
.

Of course, “renewables” include an aggregate of different
sources—solar, wind, hydroelectric, and biomass—while coal is
just a single fuel source (renewable energy has not yet displaced
all fossil fuel use in Germany, you’ll note). But coal has long
been a staple of the country’s energy mix, and Germany looks poised
to
reduce the amount of coal-fired power
on its grid
significantly, even shutting down its last coal mine in November.
From now on, coal for the approximately 120 coal-fired power plants
that still power the German grid will be imported from the US,
Russia, or Colombia,
according to Bloomberg
.

The massive year for renewables was led by continued expansion
in the wind energy sector. German
wind power output was up 5.4 percent year over year
, and output
is expected to increase again in 2019. Alone, wind contributed to
covering 19 percent of Germany’s 2018 electricity demand, the
largest source second only to lignite coal.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Renewables, led by wind, provided more power than coal in Germany in 2018