Energy consumption in Germany reached 6,771 PJ or 230.9 mt ce by the middle of 2018 (Figure 1), constituting a solid 1 % decrease on the previous year. Following the first three months, growth amounted to more than 5 % on account of the cool weather conditions in February and March.
According to preliminary calculations by the German Working Group on Energy Balances (AG Energiebilanzen), the use of both natural gas and renewable energy sources increased, whereas the consumption of mineral oil and coal and lignite decreased. Were it not for the cool weather, the energy consumption calculated for the entire half year would have increased by approximately 1.5 %. According to AG Energiebilanzen estimations, the increased use of natural gas and renewable energy sources as well as the decline in oil and coal will have reduced energy-related CO2 emissions by around 3 %.
During the first six months of this year, mineral oil consumption sank by just under 3 % in total. With a 12 % slump in sales, consumption of light heating oil dropped the most significantly. The decline in the various fuels amounted to between 1 and 4 %. The main reason for this development may have been the increase in prices.
Natural gas consumption increased by just under 3 % in comparison to the first half of the previous year. As a result of the cooler temperatures, consumption increased significantly in February and March, whereas consumption in the second quarter was considerably lower than the previous year.
The consumption of coal decreased significantly and was more than 14 % lower than the previous year due to the fact that less coal was used in power stations to generate electricity and heat. The use of coke and coal in the steel industry also declined.
In the first six months of the year, lignite consumption also dropped by around 3 %, as it was used less frequently to generate electricity.
Nuclear energy was used to generate around 9 % more electricity in the first half of the year compared with the previous year. In 2017, a surge of revisions resulted in a significant reduction in electricity generation.
Renewable energies’ contribution to overall energy consumption in the first half of 2018 rose by more than 4 %. All types of renewable energy contributed to this development. Wind power increased by 15 % and biomass by 1 %. Solar energy also increased by 8 % and the contribution made by hydroelectric power rose by 9 %. (AG Energiebilanzen/Si.)