Germany’s power production from renewable energy rose in 2022, but it is still below the threshold needed to reach the target of generating 80% of electricity from renewables by 2030, the Environment Agency said on Monday.
Renewable energy is expected to account for around 46% of German power consumption this year, up from 41% a year earlier, the agency said in its annual report.
Some 256 terrawatt hours (TWh) were generated last year, mainly from wind and solar power, up 9% year-on-year, but still below the target of 269 TWh for the year in order to achieve the goal of around 600 TWh by 2030, the agency added.
“The decisive course for a successful expansion process must be set promptly,” Dirk Messner, the agency president, said in a statement.
With the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2045, Berlin raised its renewable energy targets this year and passed several bills to ease restrictions and accelerate the rollout of wind and solar power, declaring the expansion to be of “outstanding public interest”.
The need for renewables became ever more urgent with the decline of Russian fossil fuel imports to Europe’s biggest economy following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Wind has generated a total of 128 TWh this year, of which 103 TWh came from onshore wind turbines, but the production could not reach its previous peak value of 2020 due to few new wind power installations, the agency said.
Only around 0.8% of land in Germany is currently designated for onshore wind power. Berlin earlier this year drafted a bill setting out a minimum percentage of land in each of the 16 federal states that must be available for wind farms.
Photovoltaic power generation rose 23% in 2022 year-on-year to 61 TWh, the agency said, citing a jump in installations and “very sunny weather”.
Warmer weather also contributed to a “significant” drop in energy consumption for heating, along with citizens and companies saving on energy due to the fuel crisis. Heating from environmental heat and near-surface geothermal energy also rose 13% year-on-year.
Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editnig by Kim Coghill