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Germany: biomass the second highest source of renewable energy

Renewable energy sources are expected to account for more than 36 percent of the gross amount of electricity consumed in Germany in 2017, according to research

The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the German Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) reported the numbers after an initial assessment.

Biomass came in second, with close to 24 percent of green energy production, with nearly 3 percent of waste being biogenic. Growth in the area is expected at 1% in 2017.

Power output from wind turbines at sea is the biggest growth area, with output expected to increase by 49% to 18.3 billion kWh, up from 12.3 billion kWh in 2016. However, onshore wind energy remains by far the strongest source, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electricity generated by renewables.

"Renewables have already surpassed the federal government's target for 2020, which calls for their share of gross electricity consumption to arrive at 35 percent. That is good news for climate protection. However, to ensure electrical power from renewables can be widely used, we must forge on, full steam ahead, to extend north-south power lines. The gears of grid and renewables expansion have to be closely meshed," explains Stefan Kapferer, Chairman of BDEW's General Executive Management Board.

"The share of green power in electricity consumption has increased by almost 13 percentage points over the past 5 years. And over the past 15 years, the increase has been even greater at 28 percentage points. This is indeed a success story," says Prof. Frithjof Staiß, Managing Director of ZSW. "What's more, the dynamic development currently underway has not led to an increase in the EEG levy—it may even be reduced somewhat for 2018. Now policymakers need to establish the framework conditions so that the next expansion goals can also be achieved." Staiß added that this applies particularly to the other two sectors, heating and mobility, where the share of renewables has for years been stagnating at 6 percent (transportation) and 13 percent (heating).