According to early estimates, sustainable energy sources provided over 25% of Germany's electricity for the first time in the first half of 2012. In comparison with the same period of 2011 electricity production from renewables increased from 56.4 billion to 67.9 billion kWh. The lion's share, 9.2% of the electricity, was provided by wind energy, followed by biomass with 5.7%, photovoltaics with 5.3% and water power with 4%. The biggest increase was in solar power. Here, the electricity generated rose by 47% in comparison with the previous year. For the other energy sources the percentage increase was only in low single figures.
The industry associations are, of course, delighted with this news. Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association (Bundesverbandes Windenergie, BWE) declared: "The fact that already today a quarter of the German electricity requirement is covered by renewable energies is a good signal, especially in the direction of those who do not believe that a transition to a sustainable energy supply is possible."
The total consumption of electricity in Germany sank by 1.4% to 261.5 billion kWh. Unfortunately, this cannot be seen as proof of increased energy efficiency because the reduction can be attributed to low capacity utilization in electricity-intensive industries such as steel and metal production, paper and chemicals.