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The year 2020 will certainly go down in history and stick in our memory as the year the coronavirus pandemic had a lock on the world. Many sectors and fields of the economy were hit and seriously affected by the national COVID-19 restrictions (including lockdowns). And if that was not enough, the consequences of both the pandemic and its related restrictions even invaded our privacy. In the sector of renewable energies, the effects of the crisis were fortunately of only limited extent. For this reason, W.E.B was able to continue generating reliable and green electricity throughout this difficult year. When it comes to the weather, the year 2020 showed two different faces: while the wind power production exceeded its targets by considerable margins in the first six months, the second half of the year remained clearly below expectations. A “breath of wind” was all it would have taken to ultimately conclude the year on target. Nevertheless, we were still able to set a new production record – the highest in W.E.B corporate history with 1,302,135 MWh. Aside from our wonderfully stable plant operations, this record was possible thanks to the newly commissioned photovoltaic and wind power projects in a year of crisis and restrictions.
The overall monthly production of 129,677 MWh clearly remained below the defined target in December.
In December another Mediterranean low-pressure system sent mild and humid air masses towards Central Europe. This special weather phenomenon along the so-called Vb-track usually brings along extensive precipitation, which is mostly discharged south of the Alpine divide. While northern Carinthia and eastern Tyrol were buried under record-breaking amounts of snow, the regions north of the Alps were blessed with mild and rather dry weather in December. The dominant weather conditions resulted in slightly positive production results in Austria and the Czech Republic. France almost reached its target, while Germany and Italy did not get enough wind to remain on the plus side. Both Canada and the United States generated excellent results at the end of the year.
An extremely foggy and cloudy December did not really give the sun any chance of generating solar power. In consequence, the photovoltaic power segment could not keep up with its long-time monthly average in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy.
The hydroelectric power segment remained above target in Austria and below target in Germany.