01 March 2013

Germany's electricity - renewable vs thermal

Tom exclaimed to me the other day "Solar electricity generation has really taken off in Germany!"

I thought I would obtain the data from the US EIA international web page and see for myself.

So yes from that chart, I see that solar generation has gone from zero in the early 1990s to 20 billion kilowatt hours in 2011. And both wind and biomass generation contributed more than 40 billion kilowatt hours in 2011.

But, Germany's thermal generation (meaning fossil fuels, coal, gas and oil) has been consistently over 300 billion kilowatt hours for the lat 30 years. There was a slight dip in 2008 and 2009, which I would say reflects the Eurozone debt crisis rather than the European Emissions Trading Schme. Then an increase in 2010.

So Germany's thermal generation (read "coal") still dwarves (or is that "dwarfs"?) the renewables.

And German coal consumption seems pretty steady at over 200 million tonnes consumed annually since 2000.