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ANALYSIS: German 2013 wind, solar power output up 4% at record 77 TWh

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German wind output hits weekly record at start of Dec; coal, gas generation halves

ANALYSIS: German 2013 wind, solar power output up 4% at record 77 TWh

Germany's combined wind and solar power output in 2013 was around 4%higher than the previous year at a record 76.9 TWh, a Platts analysis of thelatest available data shows.

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Wind power output reached a record 47.2 TWh last year, up 3% or 1.3 TWhfrom 2012, according to renewables research group IWR.

Solar output increased 6% or 1.7 TWh from 2012 to reach 29.7 TWh for2013, according to a Spider-Energy analysis of data provided by transmissionsystem operators and published on the EEX transparency platform. Up until November, 2013, wind power output trailed 2012 levels, but astormy December with more than 7 TWh of wind power output meant new recordsfor both wind and solar power production in Germany, the data shows. Both solar and wind also hit new hourly records in 2013 with wind poweroutput rising for the first time above 26 GW on December 5, while hourly solaroutput reached 24 GW in July. Strong solar output at times also combined withhigh wind power output to set a new record for intermittent renewable outputabove 36 GW on April 18.

Germany's installed wind and and solar capacity is expected to rise above70 GW in the first half of 2014. Currently, wind capacity is estimated ataround 33 GW, while solar PV capacity has risen above 35.5 GW in November.

However, consumers also will have to pay 18% more for subsidies paid torenewable power producers in 2014 through the green levy, which is estimatedto pay out some Eur21.5 billion ($29.3 billion) to eligible operators ofrenewable installations next year.

With lower wholesale prices finally feeding through to consumer prices,the pressure on politicians to act quickly has maybe eased somewhat, but thereform of the EEG renewable energy law remains a priority for the newgovernment, which plans to present a first draft bill by Easter.

PRESSURE ON POWER PRICES REMAINS

German power prices extended their downward trend in 2013 with spot poweron average 13% lower than in 2012, while year-ahead prices fell to theirlowest level in over eight years due to oversupply from renewable andconventional sources as well as cheaper generation costs and falling demand.

According to Platts data, German day-ahead, over-the-counter powerprices for baseload delivery averaged Eur37.51/MWh in 2013.

The average 2013 closing price for OTC year-ahead baseload power wasEur39.06/MWh, down 21% or more than Eur10 from the 2012 average ofEur49.27/MWh.

Power consumption fell 2013 for a third year in a row, down 1.8% year onyear at 596 TWh, according to a first estimate from utility lobby group BDEW.

However, domestic power production was little changed compared with theprevious year at 629 TWh, German think-tank Agora said.

Based on those estimates, German net power exports reached a new recordin 2013 at around 33 TWh.

That number would exceed Germany's total annual solar output of 29.7 TWh,according to the latest available data.

Combined wind and solar output accounted for around 13% of Germany'selectricity consumption in 2013 with wind contributing around 8% and solararound 5% based on an annualized average, according to the above data.

Total renewables output including hydro, biomass and other forms of greenpower generation, accounted for almost 25% of Germany's electricity mix in2013, Agora said, with no overall official data available yet.

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@platts.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@platts.com

Similar stories appear in European Power Daily See more information at http://www.platts.com/Products/europeanpowerdaily