For the first time, solar energy topped the list of sources for Germany’s net public electricity supply in June 2019, generating 19 percent – ranking ahead of lignite (18.6 percent) and wind (17.7 percent), according to research institute Fraunhofer ISE’s Energy Charts project. Renewables supplied a total of 52 percent of German electricity in June, and just slightly less (47.8 percent) for the entire first half year of 2019. The project does not include data on the amount of power the generating facilities consume themselves to operate, or the power German industry produces and consumes without it being fed into the public grid. Fraunhofer ISE says their data represents the power mix that actually supplies German homes.
The official German target for renewables is set not as the share of net public supply, but as their share in total electricity consumption (including industry power plants). The government coalition has vowed to bring the share to an annual average of 65 percent by 2030, as the country simultaneously carries out the dual phase-out of nuclear and coal power. For the first six months of 2019, renewable sources delivered 44 percent of electricity consumption, utility association BDEW estimates. Although renewables at times already covered the country’s power demand completely, the sluggish expansion of Germany’s power grid and a lack of storage capacities for electricity from renewable sources continue to make a broader reliance on wind power and other low-carbon sources difficult.