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article imageRenewables overtake coal as main power source in Germany

By Karen Graham     Jan 3, 2019 in World
Frankfurt - Renewable energy became Germany's dominant source of electricity in 2018, beating coal for the first time in history, experts from the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute said on Thursday.
Renewable sources accounted for 40.3 percent of German electricity production in 2018, up from 38.2 percent in 2017 and 19.1 percent in 2010. Experts said coal-fired power plants supplied about 38 percent of electricity in 2018.
The shift shows progress in Europe's largest economy's plans for renewable energy to supply 65 percent of energy by 2030, but it will be a costly venture with the country's plans to abandon nuclear energy by 2022.
Germany is still working on creating an orderly plan to abandon its coal-fired power plants. Lignite or brown coal powder remains the largest single energy supplier, accounting for 24.1 percent of Germany’s energy in 2018. Wind power was a close second, accounting for 20.1 percent.
Coal plants accounted for 13.9 percent, solar energy accounted for 8.4 percent, gas-to-power plants contributed 7.4 percent and hydropower made up 3.2 percent of Germany’s total energy supply.
The Fraunhofer organization of applied science showed that the output of solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric generation units rose 4.3 percent last year to produce 219 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. That was out of total national power production of 542 TWh that included both green and fossil fuel sources.
Bruno Burger, the author of the Fraunhofer study, said it was set to stay above 40 percent this year. “We will not fall below the 40 percent in 2019 because more renewable installations are being built and weather patterns will not change that dramatically,” he said.
However, according to Deutsche Welle, Burger said that even with the landmark figures for 2018, the change is "not happening quickly enough. If Germany continues at this rate, we are going to miss our 2030 targets," he said.
More about Germany, Renewable energy, power source, 2018, brown coal
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