In 2023, climate-neutrally generated electricity covered more than half of Germany’s electricity consumption for the first time. This emerges from projections by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW), which are available to the German Press Agency.

Accordingly, in the year that ended, almost 52 percent of gross electricity consumption came from renewable energies, which is 5 percentage points more than in the previous year. ZSW and BDEW assume that total gross electricity consumption in 2023 will be around 517.3 billion kilowatt hours.

Records for climate-neutral electricity generation

Renewables had particularly high shares in July (59 percent), May (57 percent) and October and November (55 percent each). In June, electricity generation from sunlight reached a new all-time record of 9.8 billion kilowatt hours. Onshore wind energy achieved a new annual record of 113.5 billion kilowatt hours. Overall, at 267.0 billion kilowatt hours, more electricity was generated in a climate-neutral manner than ever before.

“The numbers show that we are on the right track,” explained the chairwoman of the BDEW headquarters, Kerstin Andreae. However, the path to a completely climate-neutral power supply is not a sure-fire success. “We can only achieve the second 50 percent if politicians continue to consistently remove all hurdles to the expansion of renewables.”

ZSW board member Frithjof Staiß emphasized that the move away from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, which was decided at the World Climate Conference in Dubai, requires the expansion of renewable energies in completely new dimensions. Renewable electricity is also necessary for the extraction of carbon dioxide from the air using so-called direct air capture systems. The CO2 obtained in this way, together with green hydrogen, could serve as a carbon source for future hydrocarbon needs.