Renewable Energy: From Vision to Reality

(© Jess rodriguez –

(© Jess rodriguez –

2024/04/26 – In 2023, for the first time, more than half of Germany's electricity was produced from renewable sources. With a share of 56 %, Germany also performs well in comparison with the rest of the EU.

Just a few years ago, this would have seemed unthinkable: In 2023, for the first time, more than half of the electricity produced in Germany came from renewable sources. Leading this environmentally-friendly revolution, wind energy surpassed coal as the dominant energy source, contributing nearly a third to the electricity generation.

According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), last year, 31 % of the electricity generated in Germany came from wind power, reaching a new record of 139.3 billion kilowatt-hours. In total, the share of renewable energies, including wind, water and solar energy, reached a new peak of 56 % of the actual total electricity production, which amounted to 449.8 billion kilowatt-hours. This marks a significant increase compared to 2022, where the share was at 46.3 %. This development was also confirmed by the Federal Network Agency, according to which the installed gross capacity of solar energy, wind energy on land and at sea, as well as biomass was about 160 gigawatts, representing 56 % of the total electricity generation.

A Diverse Picture Across Europe

Germany also stands out in the European comparison - even though many countries do not yet have figures for 2023. Looking at 2022, however, the EU average for electricity from renewable sources was already at 41 %. Germany ranked ninth, while Sweden was the EU country with the highest share (83 %), followed by Denmark (77 %), Austria (75 %), and Portugal (61 %). The lowest shares of renewable electricity were recorded in Malta (10 %), Hungary (15 %), Czech Republic (15 %), and Luxembourg (16 %).

Hesitant Expansion: Still Much to Do

Despite the progress in the share of electricity production, there is still much to be done in the field of wind energy. After all, in 2023, just 81 wind turbines were newly commissioned across all German states. By 2030, the federal government plans to double the capacity of wind power plants to 145 gigawatts, with 115 gigawatts to come from onshore plants. In fact, according to the Federal Network Agency, 1,464 new wind turbines were approved in 2023, the highest number since 2016. However, the current pace of wind power expansion is still insufficient to meet ambitious climate goals, partly due to local resistance.

Storage Technologies Becoming Increasingly Important

Industry expert Kai-Uwe Wollenhaupt, President of the automotive battery manufacturer SVOLT Europe, welcomes the shift in power production, but also points out consequences: "To effectively support the further expansion of renewable electricity production in Germany, a stronger integration of storage technologies is needed. An important aspect to a sustainable, stable and secure energy supply lies in the ability to efficiently store renewable electricity when needed and make it available later according to demand. In this context, battery storage systems will play a central role, as they not only help to mitigate the volatility of renewable energy sources but also help to ensure grid stability and therefore optimize energy supply. Only if politics, business, and society jointly invest in the development and expansion of storage technologies can the transformation towards a sustainable energy supply system based on renewable energies succeed and advance further our endeavor to climate protection".