Renewable energy sources have surged to cover approximately 56% of Germany's electricity consumption in the first quarter of 2024, according to projections released by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW.

During the period from January to March, renewable energy plants generated an estimated 75.9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, marking an increase of around 9% compared to the same timeframe in the previous year.

Among the renewable sources, onshore wind turbines contributed over a quarter of Germany's electricity demand with 39.4 billion kilowatt hours.

The report also revealed that hydropower made a significant above-average contribution to electricity generation, producing 5.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. This represents a substantial 27% increase compared to the corresponding period last year. In total, hydropower plants covered 4% of Germany's gross electricity consumption.

“The recently steadily increasing share of renewable energy in electricity consumption shows that we are on the right track. The expansion of renewable energies has recently increased significantly. This is now reflected in electricity generation,” said Kerstin Andreae, Chairwoman of the BDEW Executive Board. “But one thing is also clear: in order to achieve our climate goals, we have to go the extra mile. The solar package contains important instruments to further accelerate the expansion of both photovoltaics and wind energy on land. The planned measures must now be implemented quickly. In addition, the expansion and conversion of the networks must be further pushed forward so that green electricity reaches consumers.”

This is also confirmed by Prof. Dr. Frithjof Staiß, Managing Director of the ZSW: “In order to be able to realize an efficient, reliable, safe and greenhouse gas-neutral electricity supply based on 100 percent renewable energies including hydrogen, if possible by 2035, we not only need stringent and, above all, integrated infrastructure planning for electricity and hydrogen, but above all their implementation. The current needs survey for the network development plan set the course in this direction for the first time, but the implementation of the hydrogen core network could be significantly delayed if the financing conditions agreed cannot sufficiently activate a private sector chapter. Despite the currently very high expansion momentum in photovoltaics and the fortunately increasing expansion rates in wind energy, it still remains to be seen whether the goals for infrastructure expansion can also be achieved at the same time.”