Germany’s electricity generation was 60% renewable in February — with wind power replacing lignite usage

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From pv magazine Germany

There were “many new records in February,” according to tweets from Bruno Burger of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, after evaluating Germany’s net electricity generation for the month.

The first record: On a monthly basis, renewable energies accounted for more than 60% of the electricity mix that comes from the socket. According to preliminary data, Burger determined renewables had a 61.2% share (see graphic).

The next record: Wind achieved a share of more than 45% for the first time. According to Burger, it was 45.8% — or 20.8 terawatt-hours. Photovoltaic systems generated 4.2% of Germany’s electrical power. Biomass reached a share of around 8.3% and hydropower was 3%.

“The high proportion of renewable energy in February shows that the energy transition is technically feasible and that transmission system operators are able to stabilize the network and guarantee security of supply — even with high proportions of renewable energies,” said Burger.

But there was another record, which is also due to the high feed-in of wind power. At 11%, the share of lignite in net electricity generation was smaller than ever.

“In February, wind power replaced more than 50% of lignite power. This saved around 5 million tons of CO2 in lignite alone, ”explains Burger.

“Due to the low average day-ahead exchange prices for electricity of just $24.34/megawatt-hour, the generation of electricity from lignite was not profitable — since the CO2 certificates for lignite cost an average of around $28.22/megawatt-hour,” the Freiburg scientist noted.

It’s easy to observe the continuing “fuel switch” that started last year – away from coal and towards gas. The share of hard coal-fired power plants was 5.6% according to the evaluation. Gas power plants accounted for 10.2% of net electricity generation and nuclear power plants contributed 11.5%.