German Coal Use at Highest Level Since 1990 Despite Rise in Solar

According to the Financial Times, Germany coal use is at its highest levels since 1990. This is despite the fact that renewables (including solar and wind) have ramped up significantly in the past decade. On June 9, 2014, Germany generated for the first time over %50 of the electricity demand from solar. In the past year, 147bn kWh was generated from renewable sources. The argument for the increase in coal use stems from the fact that German chancellor Angele Merkel decided to phase out nuclear power which left an energy gap that only coal or fossil fuels could quickly meet. It was announced on May 30,2011 that Germany would close all nuclear plants by 2022 per the New York Times in an anti-nuclear response to the Fukushima disaster.

A global look at energy sources  indicates the energy load has been rising worldwide since 1965 along with corresponding increases in energy for coal and all other sources. Use of fossil fuels including coal has grown fastest worldwide.



  • Reply February 23, 2015


    I have read that Germany has spent about €500Billion on it’s energiewende fiasco. For thet much they could have designed, certified, and built enough LFTRs (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors) to power the western European grid with zero-carbon electricity. Germany coud be like Ontario (60% nuke, <55g/kWhr) rather than the "unreliables" fiasco created 850g/kWhr.

  • Reply February 27, 2015

    Carl Erik Magnusson

    It is known that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. The German “Energiewende” might be such a naive intension. However, to sustain life an energy flow is needed, and German policy at the moment promotes coal: Recently, a German minister asked the Swedish prime minister not to close down the investments in “Welzow-Süd II” and in “Nochten II” brown coal mining made by the Swedish company Vattenfall: If Vattenfall should abandon these plans, 16000 jobs are gone from that region. Conclusion: “Money makes the world go around”.

  • Reply February 28, 2015


    The FT headline is highly misleading, coal consumption is down significantly. Even the small uptick in output in 2013 is due to improved efficiency, not to increased consumption.

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