Renewable energy takes the lead in Germany 

Source: Jeevan Vasagar, Financial Times • Posted: Friday, January 9, 2015

2014 marked the first year renewable energy became the primary source of electricity in Germany, according to Agora Energiewende, a Berlin think tank. Renewable energy made up nearly 26 percent of the country’s energy, up almost 2 percent from 2013. Most of this energy was derived from wind power and biomass.

Though renewable energy is on the rise, Germany continues to rely heavily on lignite, the dirtiest fossil fuel, which accounted for 25.6 percent of the country’s energy use. Lignite-generated power increased by 0.2 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Other forms of energy took a hit last year, with coal-generated power dropping to 18 percent from 19.2 percent in 2013. Gas-fired power accounted for 9.6 percent of electricity generation, down from 10.7 percent the year before.

Germany’s overall emissions decreased by 301 million metric tons, according to Agora Energiewende, though the think tank attributes this decline to a mild winter and 4 percent decrease in energy consumption across the country. By 2035, Germany aims to replace 60 percent of its energy use with renewable energy.