The share of renewables on Germany’s power grids rose by 6.6 percentage points to 55% of the total last year, the sector’s regulator said on Wednesday, as Europe’s largest economy moves closer to its 2030 target.
Germany wants green power to account for 80% of its energy mix by 2030. It has ditched nuclear power and aims to abandon most of its coal generation and use its remaining gas plants mostly for grid back-up.
Within renewables, offshore wind contributed a 31.1% share, solar 12.1% and biomass 8.4%, while the remaining 3.4% came from hydropower and other renewables, regulator Bundesnetzagentur said in a statement.
The 2023 rise was helped by capacity expansion as well as weather, it said.
“We have broken the 50% mark for renewables for the first time,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck said in a statement. “Our measures to simplify planning and approvals are starting to take effect.”
Power grids, which are consumer-funded and supervised by the regulator, must facilitate the ongoing transition from central fossil fuels-based generation to millions of decentralised low-carbon production units relying mainly on wind and sun.
The total load on public power networks in 2023 fell by 5.3% to 456.8 terawatt hours (TWh) last year, reflecting weaker demand and green power taking priority over generation using fossil fuels.
Germany is still suffering from a contraction in economic activity in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the ensuing slump in Russian energy imports triggering sharp energy price rallies in 2022.