The Fraunhofer Institute has an excellent page for monitoring Germany’s installed electrical energy production capacity.
Examining the charts, we see a stunning result for Germany: Despite the almost monster 70 gigawatts of renewable energy coming online since 2002, Germany’s fossil fuel capacity has risen and reached their highest level ever in 2014!
The following chart shows Germany’s installed renewable energy capacity (wind, solar, hydro and biomass) since 2012:
Figure 1: blue = hydro; green = biomass: gray = wind, cream = solar. Source: https://energy-charts.de/power_inst_de.htm
From the above chart we that in 2002 Germany had just under 20 gigawatts of installed green capacity. Then came the renewable energy boom and that figure ballooned to almost 90 gigawatts – an amount that is enough to power the whole country on an average day.
You’d think with so much green energy capacity coming online since 2002 (close to 70 gigawatts), lots of fossil fuel capacity would get scaled back, i.e. replaced. But amazingly fossil fuel capacity has not dropped at all. To the contrary, it has reached a record high!
The next chart shows Germany’s installed fossil fuel capacity (gas, lignite, black coal), which we would have expected to drop massively due to all the green energy coming online:
Figure 2: Germany’s installed fossil fuel capacity for electricity generation. Source: https://energy-charts.de/power_inst_de.htm
Clearly that has not been the case. Here we see that 2010 had seen a record high with 76.70 gigawatts of installed capacity. But that mark was surpassed just last year, which saw 77.50 gigawatts of installed FOSSIL FUEL capacity – a record. The paradox is that as more green energy capacity came online, so did the unwanted, CO2-emitting fossil fuels!
Of course some of that had to do with Germany’s 2011 knee-jerk reaction of shutting down a number of its nuclear power plants in the wake of Fukushima accident, which meant fossil fuels had to jump in (because green energies are too volatile to fill in). From Figure 2 one also sees that coal capacity has been rising since 2011.
So what does this all mean? Green energies have not replaced any fossil fuel capacity in Germany. It means that consumers have gotten zero-climate protection for the 200 billion or so euros committed so far to green energies. All that money – for nothing!
Finally, the following chart shows all sources of Germany’s installed capacity:
Figure 3: Germany’s total installed capacity has skyrocketed to 177.14 gigawatts. But the demand for electricity averages only about 80 gigawatts and that has not risen at all over the past 13 years. Source: https://energy-charts.de/power_inst_de.htm
Clearly we see skyrocketing overall capacity when the overall demand for electricity remains steady. Today Germany has a total installed capacity of a whopping 177 gigawatts. The country’s average demand, however, is around just 80 gigawatts. This is an economics folly, and one that is on track to get even far more insane unless political leaders sober up quickly.
As Germany keeps bringing more and more green energy capacity on line, the more and more fossil capacity will need to be added for days when the wind and sun don’t show up.