Close

Find topic

Can we en:form you? You can use our filter to find relevant topics. Alternatively our search function or the overview of articles can help you out.

Overview
Filter
Overview
Close

Search

Frequent requests

electrification emission trading energy storage energy transition innovation power stations RWE security of supply
Back to Overview
[post-views]
Germany’s energy consumption has fallen by nine percent
Semi-annual report of AG Energiebilanzen shows clear effects of the corona pandemic

Actually, one of the major goals of energy transition is to consume less energy – but with the same or growing economic output. Unfortunately, in the first half of 2020, this was true only for the first part: Energy consumption in Germany has fallen by 8.8 percent compared to the same period last year, as the AG Energiebilanzen has calculated. The main reason they give is the slow-down of the economy as a result of the measures to contain the Covid 19 pandemic.

The statisticians also dare to make a cautious forecast for 2020 as a whole: “If there is a quick and undisturbed recovery from the effects of the Corona pandemic, AG Energiebilanzen expects a single-digit percentage drop in consumption for the year as a whole”, they stated in their half-yearly report. However, in the event of another lockdown, the reduction in consumption could well be in the double-digit percentage range compared to the previous year.

CO2 emissions fall disproportionately

The drop in energy consumption has affected all fossil fuels. Lignite and hard coal recorded the greatest decline, followed by nuclear energy, mineral oil and natural gas. Because coal combustion in particular has decreased, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions fell much more sharply than total energy consumption. Compared to the first half of 2019, 13 percent less CO2 equivalents were emitted. For the whole of 2020, it is likely to be ten to 17 percent less than in the previous year, according to the AG Energiebilanzen.

 

One reason for this is that conventional power plants in particular produce less electricity when electricity demand is low. In addition, further lignite-fired power plant units were transferred to safety readiness. Accordingly, consumption of lignite fell by more than a third (35.5 percent) and that of hard coal by almost a quarter. Although natural gas was used more in power generation, consumption fell by almost five percent overall due to milder weather in the first two months and lower use in various branches of industry.

At the same time, Renewables grew significantly. Thanks to favorable weather conditions and increasing generation capacity, wind and solar power production each increased by about ten percent. As a result, Renewables’ share of total energy consumption rose by three percent.

Share of energy sources in total electricity consumption in Germany in the first half of 2020 (Previous year in parentheses)

Source: AG Energiebilanzen

Fuels also far less in demand

Anyone who had to go to the office despite the Corona crisis will not be surprised to learn that sales and consumption of fossil fuels have also fallen significantly. The decline in private transport was visible to the naked eye during the morning drive to work. Over the last six months, 13.5 percent less petrol and 8.6 percent less diesel were sold than usual. As is well known, the aviation industry was hit even harder: The nearly complete standstill of air traffic almost halved sales of aviation fuel.

The only fuel with a sales increase was heating oil – despite the mild weather, consumers bought 28 percent more. However, analysts doubt that the oil has already been used up: “Consumers have probably used the low prices to significantly increase their stocks.”

Photo credit: © RWE AG

Ask the en:former…

…and put a question to the editorial staff!

via e-mail place feedback
Feedback form







All fields marked with * are required.

Ask the en:former…

…and put a question to the editorial staff!

via E-Mail Place Feedback

up:date

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and stay en:formed.

sign in
Rate now Already rated

share article:
More about Power generation Energy industry