According to new figures, renewable energy sources produced more electricity than coal and nuclear power combined for the first time in Germany.
Figures show that solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power generation accounted for 47.3 percent of the country's electricity production in the first six months of 2019, while 43.4 percent came from power plants. coal and nuclear power plants.
About 15% less carbon dioxide was produced than in the same period last year, according to figures released by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in July.
However, some scientists have attributed the high production of renewable energy to favorable weather patterns and "market-driven events."
Dr Fabian Hein, from the think tank Agora Energiewende, told Deutsche Welle that the 20 percent increase in wind production was the result of particularly windy conditions in 2019.
Meanwhile, the production of electricity from solar panels increased by six percent, natural gas by 10 percent, while the share of nuclear energy in the country's electricity production has remained virtually unchanged.
The use of black coal decreased by 30 percent compared to the first half of 2018, and lignite, a coal-like substance formed from peat, decreased by 20 percent.
However, during the same period, natural gas electricity production increased by 10 percent.
Professor Bruno Burger, from the Fraunhofer ISE, said that the drop in coal use was the result of a "fuel shift" driven by the market from coal to gas.
He attributed the change to low gas prices combined with an increase in the cost of carbon dioxide allocations in the European Union's Emissions Trading System (ETS).
Yan Qin, Principal Carbon Analyst at Refinitiv Data End Business, told Clean Energy Wire: "Since January, we have seen that the high price of carbon really is the perfect market for gas."
"We really see an interesting phenomenon: in the daily German electricity market, a high price of coal and a very low price of gas are really pushing gas against lignite."
Renewable energy accounted for 40 percent of Germany's electricity consumption in 2018, according to government figures. Whereas in the UK, 29 percent of electricity came from renewable energy last year.
Germany aims to phase out its nuclear power plants by 2022. Its renewable energy has increased steadily over the past two decades thanks in part to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which was amended last year to lower costs for consumers. . However, it still relies heavily on coal, gas, and lignite for its energy needs.
Germany's reluctance to end its dependence on coal saw hundreds of climate activists storm one of the country's largest open-cast coal mines in June to protest against the use of fossil fuels.