Germany: Renewables overtake coal as main power source

This article discusses how, in Germany, renewables overtake coal as main power source. Germans broke new ground in 2018 by receiving more electricity from “green” energy sources than from coal power plants, a new study said. But experts warn that Berlin could still miss its energy goals for 2030.

Renewable energy became Germany’s dominant source of electricity in 2018, beating coal for the first time in history, experts from the Germany-based Fraunhofer Institute said on Thursday.

“Green” energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower accounted for 40.3 percent of German net electricity production last year, rising by 4.3 percent compared to 2017. Experts said coal-fired power plants supplied about 38 percent of electricity in 2018.

Germany has set ambitious energy targets for the upcoming decade, aiming to have renewable sources provide 65 percent of energy by 2030. The percentage had grown from 8.5 in 2003 to 16.2 in 2008 and 27.2 another five years later.

Even with the 2018 landmark, the change is “not happening quickly enough,” Fraunhofer Institute professor Bruno Burger told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

“If Germany continues at this rate, we are going to miss our 2030 targets,” he said.

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