Germany Still 80% Dependent on Fossils and Nuclear
Germany's solar capacity has grown to 35 terrawatts and wind is right behind at 30.5 terrawatts for the year 2013. The top chart illustrates these numbers. Capacity doesn't mean much, however, since windmills operate at only about 30 percent capacity and solar at less than 25 percent. This is reflected in the bottom chart, where wind's total output over the first seven months exceeds solar's. But this doesn't bode well, since wind is very irregular and generally has little success in replacing fossil fuels since backup is always required. The bottom chart shows that, despite almost daily reports about the remarkable progress in renewable energy, coal, gas and nuclear still provide the bulk of Germany's electricity. Of the 280 terrawatt-hours generated in Germany so far this year, 54 percent has been from coal, 72 percent from coal and nuclear and 80 percent from coal, nuclear and gas. Wind and solar combined contribute only 17 percent and run-of-the-river hydro another 3 percent.