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Record generation of green electricity, further decline in fossil energies

In the first half of 2024, Germany generated 140 terawatt hours of renewable electricity, more than ever before. Its share of net public electricity generation was 65 per cent. Generation from fossil fuels continues to decline. Exchange electricity prices also continue their downward trend. This is the result of the half-yearly data on net public electricity generation presented today by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. The evaluation is based on the data platform

Wind energy was once again by far the strongest source of electricity, with 73.4 terawatt hours (TWh) compared to 66.8 TWh in the first half of 2023. Its share of public net electricity generation was 34.1 per cent, with 59.5 TWh generated on land and 13.8 TWh at sea.

Photovoltaic systems fed 32.4 TWh into the grid, an increase of 15 per cent compared to the previous year (1st half of 2023: 28.2 TWh). Electricity generation from hydropower rose to 11.3 TWh (first half of 2023: 8.9 TWh), while biomass saw a slight decline from 21.6 TWh to 20.8 TWh. In total, 140 TWh was generated from renewable sources, which is a new record. The share of renewable energies in the load (i.e. the sum of electricity consumption and grid losses) rose to 60 per cent (previous year: 55.7 per cent).

In total, 215 TWh of electricity was generated in the first half of 2024, compared to 222 TWh in the same period in 2023. The share of fossil fuels continued to decline, from 39.6 per cent to 35.0 per cent. At 75 TWh, less electricity was generated from coal, natural gas, oil and non-renewable waste than ever before. Since 2015, generation from renewable sources has increased by 56 per cent, while generation from fossil sources has fallen by 46 per cent.
The load in the first half of the year was 233 TWh, an increase of 1.8 per cent compared to the same period last year (first half of 2023: 229 TWh).

In the first half of 2024, a net total of 11.3 TWh of electricity was imported (first half of 2023: 0.8 TWh net exports). The electricity imports came from Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway), France, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Due to the favourable electricity prices of wind and hydro power in Scandinavia, electricity imports were cheaper than electricity from German coal and gas power plants. Electricity was exported to Austria, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Poland.

The exchange prices for electricity fell sharply from 100.54 euros/MWh (day-ahead auction, volume-weighted) to 67.94 euros/MWh. "The effect of falling exchange prices for electricity will be reflected in electricity prices for private and industrial end customers in the medium term," comments Dr Bruno Burger, senior scientist at Energy-Charts at the Fraunhofer ISE. The price of natural gas also fell sharply, from 44.99 euros/MWh to 29.71 euros/MWh. Both prices are thus approaching the price level in the years before the Ukraine war. The costs for CO2 emission certificates also fell: from 86.96 to 63.60 euros per tonne of CO2.

After a record increase of 15.3 gigawatts of solar power in 2023, photovoltaic capacity continued to grow strongly in 2024: 6.2 gigawatts had been installed by the end of May. The planned total expansion for 2024 is 12.5 gigawatts. The total installed PV capacity is therefore 88.9 gigawatts. The expansion of wind power is very weak and is well behind the expansion targets for 2024: only 0.8 gigawatts of new capacity was added onshore and only 0.2 gigawatts offshore. The overall expansion targets for 2024 are 7 GW onshore and 1 GW offshore. The state of Brandenburg is the leader in terms of installed wind power per inhabitant (3408 W/inhabitant), followed by Schleswig-Holstein (2928 W) and Saxony-Anhalt (2487 W).

Brandenburg also leads the way in terms of installed solar capacity (2669 W/inhabitant), followed by Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (2398 W/inhabitant) and Saxony-Anhalt (1988 W/inhabitant).

The expansion of electrical energy storage, an important factor for the daily balancing of renewable electricity generation, is progressing: in 2024, storage systems with a capacity of 1.8 GW and a capacity of 2.5 GWh were connected to the grid. The installed capacity of battery storage is now equal to the installed capacity of pumped storage at 9.9 GW. In terms of storage capacity, battery storage systems have 14.4 GWh and pumped storage systems have 40 GWh.