Renewables grow to 35% German power share in first half

A steep growth in offshore wind output helped renewable energy supply a record 35% of German electricity demand in the first half of 2017, adding two percentage points to its share at the same stage a year ago.

Onshore wind was the biggest contributor to German renewable power in the January to June period, with 39 billion kWh, said preliminary figures from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research in Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).

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Offshore wind was the fastest-growing renewable source, with its 8.8 billion kWh representing a 47% growth on the first half of 2016. The country added 626MW of sea-based turbines in the first half.

Solar contributed 22 billion kWh and biomass 23 billion kWh, the bodies said.

BDEW chairman Stefan Kapferer said: "Renewable energies' increased contribution is gratifying. Unfortunately, the necessary grid expansion is not keeping pace with the growth in regenerative plants because of all the time lost to political debates.

“Grid expansion and the expansion of renewables have to be far more closely linked and better meshed to reduce the enormous costs of stabilizing networks.”

Germany’s wind sector earlier this week warned of the impact of onshore tender rules on the prospects for land-based wind development over the next year.