On July 25th, Germany set a new record for renewable energy by meeting 78% of the day’s electricity requirements from renewables, exceeding the previous record of 74% set in May 2014. This is a huge achievement and proves that renewable energy is the answer to our future energy needs. According to the federal Energy Information Administration, the U.S. only gets around 10% of its electricity from renewable sources.
We’ve also recently reported that Denmark found itself producing 140% of its national electricity needs from wind turbines.
According to an analysis by German energy expert Craig Morris at the Energiewende blog, a stormy day across northern Europe combined with sunny conditions in southern Germany led to the new record, the exact figures of which are still preliminary. Morris writes that most of Germany’s wind turbines are installed in the north and most of its solar panels are in the south.
If the figures hold, it will turn out that wind and solar generated 40.65 gigawatts (GW) of power on July 25. When this is combined with other forms of renewables, including 4.85 GW from biomass and 2.4 GW from hydropower, the total reaches 47.9 GW of renewable power — occurring at a time when peak power demand was 61.1 GW on Saturday afternoon. To bolster his analysis, Morris points to early figures from Agora Energiewende, a Germany energy policy firm, that have renewables making up 79 percent of domestic power consumption that day.
It was due to an unusual weather pattern that brought heavy winds where most of the nation’s wind turbines are located. As these turbines generated more power, utilities ramped down coal- and gas-fired power plants. This just proves that yet again that renewable energy has the potential to replace our old ways of generating energy rapidly.
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