According to the BDEW figures, wind, solar and other sources of clean energy generated 118bn kWh of electricity in the first six months of 2018 in Germany, compared to 114kWh of power generated from lignite and hard coal over the same time period.

“Renewables are on the march, A market-driven coal exit in Germany is already on its way,” said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer. The growing share of renewables makes an accelerated power grid expansion in Germany more necessary than ever before. The aim here is to integrate more intermittent renewable power sources into the energy system, explained Kapferer.

BDEW estimates states that renewable energy sources increased output by 10% between the H1 2017 and the same period one year later, raising their share in the power mix from 32.5% to 36.3% in 2018. Onshore wind power saw the biggest increase of all renewable sources, bringing its share in output up from 12.5 to 14.7% in one year. Power generation from hard coal dropped significantly from 15.6% to 12.6% and that from lignite decreased slightly from 22.9 to 22.5%. The use of gas dropped by more than one percentage point to 12.3% of the gross power production mix, while that of nuclear energy grew by one percentage point to 11.3 %,

Right now, Germany’s Energiewende – the dual shift from fossil and nuclear energy to renewables – comes at a time when there is a political push to remove coal as a primary energy supplier, without causing major economic disruptions. However, Kapferer warned that Germany still doesn’t have a reliable

The lobby group leader warned that Germany still lacks a reliable backup system for periods of low renewable energy output, and added that this problem is set to intensify as more coal plants are shut down. In addition, the country’s last nuclear power plant is scheduled for decommissioning in 2022