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Solar marks new record as renewables repeatedly outstrip German power demand

Solar power production has reached a new record share in Germany, with solar PV contributing 23 percent to the country’s power mix over the whole last week, Sandra Enkhardt writes for pv magazine. According to research institute Fraunhofer ISE, the previous week-long record was reached in June 2019, when solar power contributed a little over 21 percent. Solar power eclipsed wind power’s share of 17 percent during Easter week 2020 and helped bring the total renewables share to about 55 percent over seven days, according to the institute’s figures. Solar power also set a new daily record share on 11 April with a contribution of 27.6 percent.

Renewable electricity generation has repeatedly exceeded power demand in Germany recently, partly because of the lower power demand triggered by the coronavirus lockdown. Data provided by Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzAshowed that power generation by wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy installations exceeded demand on Sunday, 5 April and on the national bank holiday Easter Monday, on 13 April. It also exceeded demand on Sunday, 22 March, on each occasion for several hours around midday. 

Industrial customers account for between 40 and 45 percent of Germany’s electricity and natural gas consumption, but measures to contain the virus, collapsing supply chains and withering demand at home and abroad have led to a significant decline in power consumption. However, renewable power production in the country already reached a new record before the pandemic’s effects fully set in, as more than half of all electricity produced in Germany came from renewable power sources over a whole quarter for the first time between January and March 2020.

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