Even though generating capacities for wind and PV grew in 2016, the electricity generation of both renewables declined by about 1 percent compared to 2015. Power generation in gas-fired power plants experienced the highest growth with an increase of more than 40 percent.

Solar energy (ecosetter)
© ecosetter

According to the data of Fraunhofer ISE the renewable energy sources, solar, wind, hydro and biomass generated about 186 TWh of electricity in 2016. Their annual generation is thus similar to the one last year, with a 32 percent share in the gross electricity generation. The maximum generation of PV was experienced on 8th of May with 28.5 GW, while generation from wind peaked on 8th of February with 33.6 GW. Figure 1 depicts the share of different power plant technologies in the net electricity generation for the public electricity supply in 2016.

Figure 1: Net electricity generation for the public electricity supply of different energy carriers in 2016 (Source: Fraunhofer ISE)

With a share of roughly 70 percent over several days during the Christmas holidays in 2016, renewable broke another record. The biggest winner of last year has undoubtedly been the gas-fired power plants, which generated about 43 TWh of electricity for the public supply and thus increased their generation by 40 percent compared to 2015. Figure 2 shows the year-on-year change in net electricity generation by different energy carriers. Lower generation from nuclear power plants as well as from coal-fired generation has mainly been replaced by gas.

Figure 2: Change of net electricity generation (2016 compared to 2015). Source: Fraunhofer ISE

In addition, a new record for Germany’s power export to its European neighbors has been evident in 2016. Of those 50 TWh of power export, roughly 4 percent above the one in 2015, most of the electricity has been exported to the Netherlands. Other countries which imported a lot of Germany’s power have been Switzerland (mainly as a transit to Italy), as well as Austria and Poland. The yearly average Day-Ahead power price declined compared to 2015 and settled at 28.2 EUR/MWh. Adjusted for inflation this is roughly the level of power prices in 2002.