Germany Produced Enough Renewable Energy in 6 Months for the Rest of 2018
But it still relies on fossil fuels.
Germany has produced enough renewable energy this year to keep the lights on in all households for the rest of 2018, according to the Independent.
The breakthrough was announced by the energy firm E.On, which measured 104 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) from renewable energy from the start of the year through June.
That’s enough to meet the energy demands of all German households, which consume an average of 2,500 kWh per year.
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The average US household, by comparison, uses 10,766 kWh per year.
While Germany is able to cover household demand for electricity with renewables, it still relies on fossil fuels for the majority of its overall energy needs because government infrastructure, businesses, and more all require electricity.
As a result, Germany was able to supply 36% of overall electricity with renewables in 2017, and it’s on pace to supply 9.5% more electricity in this way in 2018.
This still makes Germany a global leader in renewable energy. Other leaders include Costa Rica, which is able to get nearly all of its electricity from renewables, thanks to its small population and powerful network of rivers. Sweden gets the second-highest proportion of its energy from renewables at 51%, according to the Independent. The US currently gets around 17% of its energy from renewables, and China is trying to get 20% by 2020.
Wind power is the dominant form of renewable energy in Germany, accounting for 55 billion kWh this year, compared to 22 billion kWh from solar energy, 20 kWh from biomass, and 8 kWh from hydroelectricity, according to E.On.
The country has long been a leader in wind power, and the significant investments it has made over the years are now paying off, according to the Independent. Earlier in the year, wind power was able to generate 71% of the country’s daily energy during a powerful cyclone on Jan. 3.
Germany is trying to generate 65% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030.
The Paris climate agreement, meanwhile, calls on countries to transition beyond carbon-emitting energy sources as soon as possible to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
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