12/16/2011, Berlin

2011 figures on electricity generation mix published by BDEW

Responsibility is growing

Renewable energies become second most important energy source in the generation mix / Müller: Encouraging figures prove pressure for action in terms of market integration

In 2011, renewable energies have surpassed for the first time nuclear energy and hard coal in the generation mix and became second most important energy source in meeting electricity demand. The share of renewables increased to 19.9 percent in 2011. Only lignite had a larger share, amounting to 24.6 percent. This was the result of first estimations of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft - BDEW) for the year 2011.

"This gratifying growth of renewable energies also leads to an increase of their responsibility for the overall system’s functioning. The pressure for action towards renewables’ market and system integration is growing. Intermittent energy sources, too, must make a contribution to system security", Hildegard Müller, Chairwoman of BDEW’s General Executive Management Board declared.

In addition were the challenges regarding the development of electricity grids which was far from being in phase with the dynamic development of renewables. Furthermore, the demand for conventional reserve capacities continued to exist for periods when renewable energies cannot supply electricity due to weather conditions. "In spite of the gratifying dynamic development of renewables-based generation, renewable energies are far from being able to provide sufficient base-load electricity", Hildegard Müller emphasised. Also in 2011, electricity generation from renewable energies showed fluctuations of up to three billion kilowatt-hours on a monthly average. This corresponded to one fourth of the total renewables-based electricity generation.

Figures in detail are as follows: According to preliminary BDEW calculations, lignite ranked first having a share in electricity generation of 24.6 percent in 2011 (2010: 23.2 percent), followed by renewable energies with a share of 19.9 (16.4) percent. The share of hard coal in electricity generation amounted to 18.7 (18.6) percent. Due to the shutdown of eight nuclear power plants in Germany, nuclear energy supplied only 17.7 (22.4) percent of electricity. The share of generation by gas-fired power stations totalled 13.6 (13.8) percent. Other energy sources like pumped-storage, domestic waste and other reached a share of 4.2 (4.3) percent.

Wind was again the most successful renewable energy source in the electricity mix: After low wind supply in 2010, the share in 2011 rose to 7.6 (6.0) percent, followed by biomass with 5.2 (4.4) percent, photovoltaic with 3.2 (1.9) percent and hydro power with 3.1 (3.3) percent. The share of renewables-based electricity from waste-fired power plants totalled again 0.8 (0.8) percent.


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