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Electricity generation in December 2018 and January 2019

25 February 2019 – Total electricity generation in Germany in December and January was 0.6% higher compared with a year earlier. Renewable electricity generation was down by 1%. Conventional generation rose by 1.7% year-on-year.

Wind turbines in the snow

Germany's electricity generation from conventional and renewable energy sources in December 2018 and January 2019 amounted to 97.8 TWh, corresponding to a year-on-year increase of 0.6%. The highest hourly output of 82.8 GWh was produced on Tuesday, 15 January. The lowest output was 40.9 GWh and occurred on Monday, 31 December – New Year's Eve.

Renewable energy generation was down 1% in the two months, from 40.4 TWh to 40.1 TWh. December 2018 was rather less windy overall than the same month of the year before, leading to a decline of 1.8% in wind energy (14.4 TWh compared with 14.7 TWh in 2017). In January, by contrast, wind installations produced about 1.7% more year-on-year (14.7 TWh compared with 14.5 TWh).

Solar power is less important than wind in the winter months, but photovoltaic installations produced somewhat more electricity in December and January than in the same months of the previous year. Their output was up 3.6% year-on-year to 524 GWh in December (2017: 495 GWh) and 745 GWh in January (2017: 730 GWh).

The graph illustrates electricity generation and consumption in December 2018 and January 2019. It shows total electricity generation and consumption on each day in the period. The day with the highest amount of electricity generated was 15 January, which was also the day with the top hourly output.

Highest and lowest outputs of renewable electricity generation

The day with the highest amount of electricity generated from renewable sources was Saturday, 8 December, when storm "Marielou" led to very windy conditions across much of Germany. Renewable generation peaked at 54.8 GWh in an hour, 7.8% higher than the peak in the same period the year before and about twice the average hourly output from renewable energy sources in December and January (26.9 GWh).

The lowest hourly output of renewable generation occurred on Thursday, 24 January and was 7.5 GWh.

The graph shows the day when renewables produced their highest output (Saturday, 8 December). Conventional power plants adapted to the changes in demand and scaled back generation. The red line shows consumption.

Highest and lowest outputs of conventional electricity generation

Conventional power plants have, as far as technically feasible and economically reasonable, adapted flexibly to the generation from renewables. Conventional generation recorded its lowest hourly output of 15.5 GWh on Sunday, 9 December. Conventional plants produced their highest hourly output of 62.6 GWh on Monday, 21 January. Altogether, non-renewable electricity generation increased by 1.7% from 56.8 TWh to 57.7 TWh in the two-month period.