In a press conference, Roettgen released the latest figures, saying that for the first time, energy produced by renewables, such as wind energy, solar power, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric, accounted for more than 10 percent of the country’s total energy, up from 9.3 percent in 2008.
Roettgen said renewables produced 16.1 percent of the country’s electrical power and 8.4 percent of heating in 2009, thanks to a generous feed-in tariff offered by German Renewable Energy Law.
"We have made delightful progress, and Germany remains a leading role in renewable energies," the minister said. "We believe Germany will reach the European 2020 goal, getting 18 percent of energy from renewable sources."
Wind power, the well-developed and leading renewable energy in Germany, accounted for 6.5 percent of the country’s electricity consumption in 2009, covering about 10 million households nationwide, an annual report released by the ministry of environment said.
Roettgen noted that it was "absolutely realistic" to produce 30 percent of the country’s electricity from renewables by 2020.
The German renewable energy industry attracted investments worth of 23 billing U.S. dollars last year, as global economy was dragged by financial crisis and Germany recorded a five-percent contraction.
"The sector, which currently employs about 300,000 people, is growing against the downturn last year and remains a job and economic engineer," Roettgen said.
Renewable energy also help the Europe’s biggest economy avoid 109 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, which would be a great step toward the target of reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2020, from the country’s 1990 levels, the minister said.