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Renewables Could Reach 38% of German Power Use

November 2, 2018

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Germany is on track to produce enough green power to cover nearly 38 percent of its electricity consumption this year, up from about 36 percent in 2017, energy industry group BDEW and research institute ZSW said on Friday.

Their forecast was published with data putting the figure at 38 percent share for the first nine months of the year, helped by high wind and solar power generation.

"Should wind supply develop along the line of recent years' averages in the fourth quarter, then renewables could cover a share of just under 38 percent (of demand) in the full year," BDEW and ZSW said in a joint statement.

The share of green energy, which also includes biomass and hydropower, reached 36.1 percent of consumption last year, BDEW data shows.

In terms of production, green power output in the first three quarters totaled 169 billion kilowatt hours, representing 35 percent of the total, up from 32 percent in the same period last year.

Renewable production as a single category has been nearing or overtaking the contribution of fossil fuels, but this is only possible if there are high wind speeds and enough sunshine.

Generation from imported hard coal and domestic brown coal accounted for 36 percent of consumption in the nine months, down from 38 percent a year earlier, while gas-to-power output volume had a share of 12 percent, down from 13 percent.

BDEW's managing director, Stefan Kapferer, said that the renewables target of 65 percent by 2030, demanded by policymakers, requires further efforts on power links to transport green power and favorable conditions for storage facilities.

"We have to ensure that there aren't any ruptures within the future expansion," he said.

ZSW Chairman Frithjof Staiss said that the heating and transport industries were far behind in their efforts, which could trigger heavy fines by the European Union.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by David Goodman)

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