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Dictionary

German Energy Capacities

Primary energy is energy as it is provided by nature, before any conversions for human purposes. Germany has a broad energy mix, for electricity generation, heating, industry, mobility and agriculture. The mix is changing for market and political reasons.

Primary energy is energy as it is provided by nature, before any conversions for human purposes. Germany has a broad energy mix, for electricity generation, heating, industry, mobility and agriculture. The mix is changing for market and political reasons.

Primary Energy consumption in Germany for all purposes, 1990-2016

Note: 1.0 EJ = one exajoule = 1018 J = 277 TWh

Year 1990 1995 2000 2005
Type EJTWh% EJTWh% EJTWh% EJTWh%
Anthracite 2.3164115.5 2.0657214.4 2.0256114.0 1.8150212.4
Lignite 3.2088921.5 1.7348212.2 1.5543110.8 1.6044311.0
Total coal 5.51153037.0 3.79105426.6 3.5799224.8 3.4194523.4
Oil 5.22145035.0 5.69158040.0 5.50152038.2 5.17143035.5
Natural gas 2.2963715.4 2.8077819.6 2.9982920.7 3.2590322.3
Total Fossils 13.0361787.4 12.3341286.2 12.1334183.7 11.8327881.2
Nuclear 1.6746311.2 1.6846711.8 1.8551412.9 1.7849412.2
Wind/ PV/ Hydro .05816.1.39 .08323.1.58 .12735.3.88 .17348.11.2
Biomass /waste .139390.93 .19153.11.3 .29080.62.0 .5961654.1
Total 14.9054140 14.2693964 14.4024001 14.5584044

Year 2010 2012 2014 2016
Type EJTWh% EJTWh% EJTWh% EJTWh%
Anthracite 1.7147612.1 1.7347912.8 1.7648913.3 1.6445412.2
Lignite 1.5142010.6 1.6545712.2 1.5743711.9 1.5342411.4
Total coal 3.2289622.7 3.3893625.0 3.3392625.2 3.1787823.6
Oil 4.68130033.0 4.53126033.7 4.49125034.1 4.56127034.0
Natural gas 3.1788122.3 2.9281121.7 2.6673920.2 3.0484522.7
Total Fossils 11.1307778.0 10.8300780.4 10.5291579.5 10.8299380.3
Nuclear 1.5342610.7 1.093018.1 1.062947.7 .932586.9
Wind/ PV/ Hydro .25470.61.8 .35699.92.7 .4071133.1 .5291473.9
Biomass /waste 1.163228.2 1.032867.7 1.113098.0 1.163238.7
Total 14.2173949 13.4473735 131803661 134263729

CO2 Reduction commitments

The German government has the stated intention of reducing CO2 emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.

The target implies replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources. However, in 2007 the government authorised the building of 26 new coal plants. The new design allows for better management, lower loading and flexibility through combined cycle plant design, which will permit greater degrees of efficiency.

With the closure of 8 nuclear plants since the Fukushima aftermath decision, coal consumption has increased, highlighting the difficulties of maintaining the CO2 reduction commitments in the absence of the nuclear contribution.

At the end of 2022, there will be no more German nuclear reactors generating electricity. What is the plan for the new Energy Mix?

The goals of at least 40% of Germany's electricity from renewable energy by 2025, and 55-60% by 2035, seem much more feasible now than when the ambition was first formulated in the 2000 Renewable Energy Act. The intervening years have seen an unprecedented increase in German use of clean, renewable energies. The mix of wind and solar also allows flexibility in supply, and aids efficiency in the traditional dirty power stations by off-setting peaks in demand.

German Fossil Fuels

Despite an ambitious plan to eliminate fossil fuels by the middle of the century, Germany has so far made little or no progress in reducing the use of fossil fuels, or to reduce its greenhouse gases. Progress in renewable energy electricity generating capacity has only made up for the loss in capacity due to the accelerated closure of the country's 19 nuclear power stations.

Fossil Energy in German Electricity Production 1990-2016
LigniteAnthraciteMethaneOilTotal
YearGWh%GWh%GWh%GWh%GWh%
1990170.931.1140.825.635.96.510.82.0358.465.2
1995142.626.6147.127.441.17.79.11.7339.963.4
2000148.325.7143.124.849.28.55.91.0346.560.0
2005154.124.8134.121.572.711.712.01.9372.959.9
2010145.923.1117.018.589.314.18.71.4360.957.1
2012160.725.6116.418.576.412.27.61.2361.157.5
2014155.824.9118.618.961.19.75.70.9341.254.4
2016150.023.1111.517.280.512.45.90.9347.953.6

Total Fossil Energy Consumption (all purposes) in Germany 1990-2016
LigniteAnthraciteMethaneOilTotal
YearTJ%TJ%TJ%TJ%TJ%
19903074-23025298
19912514-24175538
19922189-23785611
19931984-24995661
19941869-25625645
19951737-28185668
19961691-31515792
19971602-30125801
19981515-30455829
19991479-30145627
20001556-30085484
20011641-31655603
20021667-31645386
20031645104.131775223
2004165886.231905153
2005160982.432575086
2006159174.833205099
2007162981.332034611
2008157394.232314879
2009152982.130454599
2010153886.431784661
20111593103.629144494
20121674103.829234504
20131655100.830614605
20141605104.526534539
20151597104.527284497
2016

Data source: www.destatis.de