COVID-19 kept share of coal-based generation below 20% in H1 2020 as wind leads renewable generation in Germany, says GlobalData

In the wake of the pandemic, with the lockdown in-situ, the decrease in German electricity consumption is mainly attributed to the halt in the major industrial and commercial activities. Even though lockdowns are being eased, data and analytics company GlobalData anticipates utilities to continue preferring the cost-effective renewable sources as demand stays subdued for most of this year.

Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The share of Germany’s renewable generation in H1 2020 naturally saw a rise following the drop in coal-based generation by almost 40%. Going ahead, GlobalData anticipates coal generation in the country to be around 30% by the end of the year, and the share of non-hydro renewables, which formed around 40% last year, is predicted to be around 41% this year.”

The mining and manufacturing industries of Germany are generating electricity from natural gas-fired power plants. As per Fraunhofer ISE, gas-based generation increased in H1 2020 compared to last year by almost 19%. By the end of the year, GlobalData estimates that generation from gas is expected to be around 14-15%, indicating that German utilities are compensating for the loss in generation from coal.

Somik adds: “Wind, hydro and solar have boosted the share of renewables in the country’s electricity generation mix, and, with no clear end of the COVID-19 pandemic in sight, the power demand is unlikely to return to normal levels any time soon. This phase of the crisis can help Germany achieve or even surpass its original 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% over 1990 levels, which earlier was thought to be a distant reality.”

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