Renewables met nearly half of Germany’s electricity needs last year, the federal networks agency (BNetzA) said, while overall power consumption fell and wholesale electricity prices soared following Russian energy curtailment.

The share of renewables in the power mix in 2022 rose to 48.3% when measured in grid loads, from 42.7% a year earlier.

Grid loads don’t include power plants’ own consumption or industrial networks, so that the basis of calculation used here tends to result in a higher share of renewables compared to the share of gross electricity consumption. It also excludes net power exports.

Within renewables, onshore wind last year reached a share of 19.8% (from 17.7% in 2021), and offshore wind 4.9% (from 4.8%). The share of solar power rose to 10.9% (from 9.2%), while biomass remained at 7.8%. Hydro power receded to a share of 2.5% (from 2.9%), and other renewables (geothermal, waste, etc.) had a share of 0.2% (from 0.3%).

Conventional energy sources saw their share reduced to 53.8% (from 57.3%), with coal and lignite rising, gas almost stagnating, and nuclear receding.

Power prices more than double

The average day-ahead wholesale market power price more than doubled to €235.45 $247.94) per MWh, from €96.85/MWh in 2021.

“The development of electricity prices was very volatile and closely correlated with the development of gas prices,” the grids agency said.

“This, in turn, depended to a large extent on the development of the Ukraine crisis and the escalation steps taken by the Russian side in supplying Germany and Europe with gas.”

Soaring gas prices were able to drive up overall power prices as due to the merit-order regulation the cost of the most expensive energy source sets the overall price.

The European Commission currently is developing proposals to de-couple electricity market prices from gas prices. Early suggestions include dividing power markets according to the fuel source or setting price caps.