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Renewable energy use surges in Germany over weekend

According to an industry report, energy from renewable sources provided higher-than-average power over the weekend. Germany's coal-fired power plants also saw the lowest output in recent history over one hour on Sunday.

Germany's transition to becoming more environmentally conscious is proving effective, according to the Agora Energiewende initiative, which announced Tuesday that a higher-than-average portion of the country's energy over the past weekend had come from renewable energy sources. 

On Sunday, April 30 alone, over two-thirds of the country's energy was provided from renewal energy sources. On the same day, coal-fired power stations in Germany recorded their lowest electric output over the course of one hour in recent history.  From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., the stations produced less than 8 gigawatts of energy, well below the maximum output of about 50 gigawatts.

Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, provided most of the power over the weekend, specifically producing upwards of 85 percent of electricity on Sunday between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. 

Nuclear shutdown

Germany is working toward shutting down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, a decision made following the disaster at the Fukushima power plant in Japan in 2011.

Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende said days like April 30 would be "completely normal" by 2030.

Germany is not the only European nation trying to wean itself from nonrenewable energy sources. According to local media reports, the UK went entirely without coal-fired energy on April 21, the first time the country had done so since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

kbd/cmk (AFP, dpa)

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