According to recent data by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) German electricity exports increased in the first half of 2014. On their new energy charts website they report the export surplus to neighbouring countries is approx. 18 TWh after the first six months, while it had been only 14.4 TWh in the first half of 2013. Most of the electricity is exported to the Netherlands, followed by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Especially the Netherlands and Switzerland also act as transit countries to the UK or Italy.
The total export surplus in 2013 was approx. 32.3 TWh. If the current trend continues until the end of 2014, Germany may achieve another record in electricity exports after the record-breaking years 2012 and 2013.
A reason for the all-time high is the continually increasing amount of renewable energy in the German grid. As reported by Fraunhofer ISE renewable energy sources generated 81 TWh in the first half of 2014, accounting for 31% of German electricity production. Especially the production of wind (+19%), solar (+28%) and biomass increased compared to 2013, while the production of hard coal, gas and brown coal decreased rapidly. Hard coal power plants produced approx. 11% less, lignite plants 4% less than the first half of 2013. The largest decline in production can be observed in gas power plants which produced 25% less than in Q1 and Q2 2013. Contrary to expectations by some, the increase in renewables generation also lead to a marked decrease in coal (hard coal and lignite) based electricity generation.
The new Fraunhofer ISE Energy energy charts website contains a lot of now very easily accessible energy data. It provides this information both in German and English. It is an excellent source of information very much worth a visit.
Sources: Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Renewables International
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