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Bountiful wind, sun boost German renewable power this year

Technicians kneel on a wind turbine of a wind turbine at the Heinsberg-Straeten wind farm in Heinsberg, Germany, on March 22, 2022. (Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany recorded about 25% more electricity generated from renewable sources in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year thanks to unusually windy and sunny weather, industry officials said Monday.

    Preliminary calculations by the energy lobby group BDEW and the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research indicate that Germany generated about 74.5 billion kilowatt hours of renewable power in the first quarter.

    Renewable energy provided about 54% of Germany's energy needs in January and February, they said.

    The German government has pledged to ramp up the use of solar and wind power as part of its plan to wean the country off Russian fossil fuels because of the war in Ukraine.

    But like other European countries, Germany is expected to fill part of the shortfall with fossil fuel imports from other regions of the world in the short term.

    Amid concerns about energy high costs, particularly for natural gas -- much of which still comes from Russia -- Germany's economy minister suggested the minimum price of 60 euros per metric ton of CO2 ($65.90) that was agreed upon within the 27-nation European Union should be expanded to other countries to avoid unduly burdening the bloc's economy.

    "Together with our partners in Europe and across the world, we will discuss, among other things, the possibilities for a harmonized carbon pricing scheme," Robert Habeck said in address to the annual Global Solutions Summit.

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