Germany Breaks Renewable Energy Record

by Emily J. Gertz

Germany’s transition from coal- and oil-fired power to carbon-free electricity hit a new milestone on July 25 when solar, wind, and other sources of renewable energy met 78 percent of the day’s energy demand.

Germany gets much of its renewable energy from wind farms like this one in the North Sea.
Germany gets much of its renewable energy from wind farms, including this one in a farmers’ field.Photo credit: Shutterstock

That beat the old record of 74 percent, made in May 2014, according to Craig Morris, a journalist who has covered Germany’s energy scene for more than a decade.

Helping set the record was an unusual weather pattern that brought heavy winds where most of the nation’s wind turbines are located. As the turbines generated more power, utilities ramped down coal- and gas-fired power plants.

But Morris found the power mix a few days earlier even more encouraging. During the night of July 22, even with darkness reducing solar output to zero and no big winds in the forecast,renewables—wind, biomass, and hydropower—generated nearly 25 percent of Germany’s electricity.

Morris found the energy data for both dates using an online tool sponsored by the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems.

Germany’s experience shows that solar and wind can keep the lights on in a highly industrialized nation, said Osha Gray Davidson, author of Clean Break, a book about Germany’s transition to carbon-free energy. “The key indicator is percentage of electricity produced by different sources—28 percent of Germany’s electricity comes from renewables annually, which is pretty amazing for large industrialized country,” Davidson said.

Germany is a model for the U.S., he said, “because manufacturing accounts for much more of the German economy than the American economy and they have 80 million people—much larger than a country like Denmark, which gets more of its power from renewables but has a much smaller industrial base and has a population of five and a half million people.”

The U.S. currently gets around 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

About steve@bayintegratedmarketing.com

Steve Ulrich is a principal at Bay Integrated Marketing: www.bayintegratedmarketing.com. I have been working with people to maximize their use of social media and internet publishing, optimize their websites to turn prospects into customers, and establish their personal brand on the internet. We are also working with Eco Distribution, Inc. to find and implement practical solutions to help clean up our air and the environment. Eco Distribution, Inc. is a California based Distributor and Representative Firm dealing in environmentally friendly and Green solutions. We have leveraged 30 years experience in responsible construction management to provide solutions for some of the most impactful challenges facing our air, water, and land. We have an oil/hydrocarbon remediation system that is effective on everything from simple oil stains on a driveway, to complex oil disasters in the ocean. My approach to social media and internet marketing is simple. Instead of spending a fortune “buying” keywords and ads that don’t return anything we concentrate on three areas: I CAN GET YOU FOUND ON LINKEDIN - NUMBER ONE, PAGE ONE.
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