The REN21 comprehensive review of nations around the world found that in 2018 Germany had the third-highest total renewable-power capacity (113 gigawatts) after China (404 GW) and the US (180 GW), both of which are far larger. 59 gigawatts came from wind, 45 gigawatts from solar, 8.4 gigawatts from biomass and 0.6 from other renewable power sources.
In per capita terms, Germany was a joint third with Sweden behind Iceland and Denmark in non-hydropower renewable power capacity. Solar power continues to be a German strength. Germany leads the world in per capita solar PV capacity.
Germany (26%) was one of nine countries that produced at least 20 percent of its power from renewables. And Germany was able to dramatically increase its renewable power generation in the first half of 2019, setting a series of records including a share of 44% renewable electricity.
Germany’s success with renewables is the result of both government policy and private-sector engagement. The Federal Statistical Office has calculated that in 2017 ten percent of all business investments in Germany went toward environmental protection.
“The increasing share of fluctuating renewables, in combination with our phase-out of nuclear and coal power plants, is driving infrastructure investments into grid expansion, smart grids and energy storage,” says Tobias Rothacher, energy expert at Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI). “And of course that means business opportunities that foreign companies can exploit.”