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Fig. 1. Structure of primary energy consumption in Germany: First half of 2016 – 6,821 PJ or 232.6 mt SKE overall. Shares in percent (figures for previous year in brackets). Bild 1. Struktur des Primärenergieverbrauchs in Deutschland: 1. Halbjahr 2016 - gesamt 6.821 PJ oder 232,6 Mio. t SKE. Anteile in Prozent (Vorjahreszeitraum in Klammern). Source/Quelle: AG Energiebilanzen

Energy consumption increases noticeably

Energy consumption in Germany increased by 1.6 % in the first six months of this year compared with the same period the previous year. A total of 6,821 PJ or 232.6 mt of coal equivalent (SKE) were consumed in the first half of the year. The increase in consumption has been attributed to the cooler weather conditions at the beginning of the year, the 2016 leap day, continued economic growth and population increase. According to provisional calculations by the Working Group on Energy Balances (AG Energiebilanzen), the increase was attenuated by additional energy-efficient improvements. Increases in oil and natural gas consumption and in renewable energies were accompanied by a decline in coal, lignite and nuclear power consumption (Figure 1).

Mineral oil consumption increased by around 4 % in total in the first half of the year. Diesel fuel and petrol consumption were up by 8 % and just under 1 % respectively and consumption of aviation fuel rose by just under 4 %. Sales of light heating oil grew by 9 % compared with the first six months of the previous year.

Natural gas consumption increased by just under 7 %. This impressive rate of growth was caused mainly by the increased use in electricity production and the cooler weather conditions in January, March and April. Industrial consumption of natural gas was roughly the same as the previous year.

Consumption of coal in the first half of 2016 was just under 2 % lower than in the same period the previous year. Although its use in electricity production fell by roughly 3 % in favour of renewable energies, consumption in the steel industry remained virtually unchanged. Consumption of lignite fell by 1.6 % compared with the first six months of the previous year. Electricity produced from lignite abated by a similar magnitude as a result of reduced power station availability.

Nuclear energy saw a decline of around 15 %. Renewable energies’ contribution to overall energy consumption in the first half of 2016 rose by 2.8 %. Wind energy increased by 8 %, whereas solar energy registered a decline of 4 %. Biomass saw an increase of 2 %. (AGEB/Si)