The number is sobering for all supporters of the energy transition: according to calculations by the Federal Environment Agency, there will be more in the first half of 2023 despite the new building
Photovoltaic and wind turbines produced less electricity from renewable energies than in the first half of 2022. Almost 136 terawatt hours flowed from these energy sources. That was one percent less electricity than in the first six months of the previous year. The development is disappointing for those who rely on sun and wind as a source of electricity, mainly because significantly more new systems have been built: the addition of new photovoltaic systems was 6000 megawatts more than in the record years 2010 to 2012. The increase in wind energy output was 1350 Megawatt, the plant park grew by about two percent.

Percentage of renewables increased – also due to falling production

The reason why things didn’t go as hoped was simply the weather. The sun shone less and the wind blew weaker than in the previous year. The development can also be presented differently, as the office, which reports to the Green Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck, shows: Because significantly less electricity was consumed in the current year, the percentage of renewable energies in electricity consumption has risen from 49 to 52 percent.

That would be good news. However, those who operate with this number should keep in mind that the main reason for the decline in consumption is falling industrial production, which in turn is a sign of a recession. One cause of the recession is rising energy prices, which are also due to the climate policy of the federal government – which is a cat’s bite in the tail. With regard to renewable energies, “the current increase in the number of plants is not sufficient”, the Federal Environment Agency concedes and is thus indirectly calling for even greater expansion.

The Federal Environment Agency rates the development of what it calls “renewable heat” as positive. Compared to the first half of 2022, the heat provided from renewable sources increased by a significant five percent. However, even this balance sheet does not always hide positive developments: In particular, the use of “solid biomass”, as the authorities call it, meaning firewood, has increased. Burning wood is considered to be a use of renewable energy, with environmental groups criticizing the method as “neither sustainable nor climate-friendly”.

According to the legislator’s definition, district heating is also “green” because it is regarded as “unavoidable heat” from production processes. It does not matter that these processes are often fueled by fossil fuels. There is also a logical contradiction in the fact that electricity used to generate heat is generally classified as renewable, even if it consists mainly of coal, gas or imported nuclear power in Germany in winter.

Habeck sees a positive development

Even in the face of these disappointing figures and contradictions, the federal government is undeterred in pursuing its course. Economics Minister Habeck, for example, confirmed at the most recent “wind power summit”: In 2030, renewable energy sources should cover 80 percent of gross electricity consumption. “Onshore wind energy is a key to our energy supply.” The federal government is doing everything to further accelerate the expansion. “We can already reap the first fruits of this work: There are positive signals in terms of extensions and permits,” said Habeck. The bottom line is that there has been no success so far, is the whole truth about the energy transition balance sheet in view of the figures from the Habeck authority.

The article “New energy statistics are sobering for Habeck and reveal contradictions” comes from WirtschaftsKurier.


Leave a Reply