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Five new facts about the energy transition

Where progress has been made and where there are problems in the transition to renewable energies.

Energiewende: Installation einer Windkraftanlage.
Energy transition: installation of a wind turbine © dpa

Germany. A study by the Agora Energiewende think tank has presented new facts you ought to know:

1. Green electricity is top

In 2017, 36.1% of Germany’s electricity was generated from renewable energy sources. This figure is 3.8 percentage points higher than in 2016. There has never been such a large increase in green electricity.

2. Wind power beats nuclear

Above all, wind power contributed to this strong increase in electricity generation from renewable sources. It is now ahead of nuclear- and coal-generated electricity for the first time.

3. Lower consumption of electricity from conventional sources

As a result of power plant closures, the proportion of total energy consumption met by coal and nuclear power fell to the lowest level since 1990.

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4. Increased energy consumption

The consumption of primary energy and electricity each rose by 0.8% as a result of economic and population growth.

5. Emissions remain unchanged

Although emissions in the electricity sector fell, they increased in transport, industry and buildings. As a result, total greenhouse gas emissions remained 27.6% lower than the level in 1990. However, if the trends of low oil prices and higher growth continue, Germany will only be able to reduce its emissions by 30% instead of 40% as planned.