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Factsheet: Energy in Germany

The Basics

What Energy Sources Are Consumed in Germany?

This chart shows the breakdown of primary energyAll energy sources that have not undergone any conversion process and remain in their natural state.. consumption in Germany: 


Oil 35.2%
Natural gas 25.1%
Renewables 14.9%
LigniteRock whose properties are somewhere between peat and coal. It has a carbon content of about 70 to 75%... 9.1%
CoalCoal is ranked by its degree of transformation or maturity, increasing in carbon content from... 8.6%
Nuclear 6.4%
Other 0.7%


Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen




What Is This Energy Used For?

Here is a table detailing each sector’s share of final energy consumption:

Transportation Oil, renewables  30.09%
Residential Gas, oil, electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... , renewables 26.16%
Industry Gas, coal, electricity 27.55%
Commercial (offices, services, businesses) Electricity, gas, oil 14.58%
Agriculture, fishing and construction Oil, biomass, electricity 1.62%


As in France, two of the three biggest energy consumers are the transportation and housing sectors. However, Germany’s robust industrial sector is also highly energy intensive.

Source : Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen


How Is Electricity Generated in Germany? 

Share of the various energy sources used for power generation: 


Renewables* 36.59%
Coal 27.96%
Gas 14.86%
Nuclear 12.26%
Hydro 3.30%
Oil 0.83%
Other 4.20%

* Of which:

Source : BP Statistical Review of world Energy – 2020, 69th edition


  • Coal is still the second largest source of electricity generation, despite its share shrinking by 7.5% between 2018 and 2019.
  • Renewables are steadily rising, increasing from 15% in 2008 to 36.6% in 2019 (up 4.6% versus 2018). They are the primary source of electricity in Germany.
  • Nuclear is in decline and should be eliminated following the shutdown of three power plants in late 2021 and three others by the end of 2022.


How Much carbon dioxide (co₂)Along with water vapor, carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas (GHG) in the Earth's atmosphere... Does Germany Emit?

This graph shows the change in CO2 emissions per capita since 2000 (in metric tons of CO2):

Source : Eurostat


Germany is the country that emits the most CO2 in the European Union, accounting for a quarter of total E.U. emissions alone. Emissions are slowly falling, partly due to transportation and heatIn the field of statistical thermodynamics today, heat refers to the transfer of the thermal agitation of the particles making up matter... production (coal/gas).


Where Is Electricity Generated?



Future Challenges


What Are Germany’s Objectives?

1. Phase out nuclear power, reduce the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix and in particular cut its (still heavy) dependence on coal, a major source of CO2 emissions.

2. Transition to an energy system based on renewables in the second half of the century.

3. Reduce greenhouse gas (ghg) Gas with physical properties that cause the Earth's atmosphere to warm up. There are a number of naturally occurring greenhouse gases... emissions by 80% to 95% by 2050 versus 1990 levels.

4. Halve final energy consumption by 2050 (the same target as France).


How Can They Be Achieved?

1. By shutting down nuclear power plants (by end-2022) and coal-fired plants (by 2038 at the latest).

2. By developing renewables on a massive scale.

3. By re-thinking sustainable mobility and cutting the industrial sector’s dependence on oil imports.

4. By reorganizing its grid for improved power distribution, and by increasing its electricity storage capacity.


Quick Quiz: Energy and You

  1. After shutting down its last six nuclear power plants in 2022, Germany will then close its coal-fired plants. But when will it do this?

    Germany will begin closing down its coal-fired plants in 2021. The aim is to phase out coal-fired electricity generation by 2038 at the latest, and possibly by 2035.
  2. Which German automaker is set to conduct a zero-emission, smart mobility trial on a Greek island?

    The Volkswagen Group, which has chosen Astypalaia, a small island in the Dodecanese, for an all-electric mobility trial project, with e-cars, e-scooters, e-bikes and a ride-sharing service. All public and private modes of transportation on the island will be electric, with the number of vehicles set to drop from 1,500 to 1,000. The Greek government will also set up wind and solar power facilities to supply the electricity.
  3. Germany wants to develop, on a national and even international scale, a renewable energyEnergy sources that are naturally replenished so quickly that they can be considered inexhaustible on a human time scale... source that is not yet widely used. What is it?

    HydrogenThe simplest and lightest atom, the most abundant element in the universe. , which a source of renewable energy provided that it is produced by water electrolysis, and that this process is powered by carbon-free electricity. In June 2020, Germany created the National Hydrogen Council to implement its strategy for decarbonizing the steelmaking, chemical, transportation and other sectors. The council has set aside €7 billion for research and infrastructure, with a view to producing 5 gigawatts of hydrogen power by 2030.
  4. Where is the largest solar farm in Germany?

    Located in Werneuchen (Brandenburg), 26 kilometers northeast of Berlin, the Weesow-Willmersdorf solar park will have 465,000 solar modules upon completion, supplying green power to nearly 50,000 homes and avoiding approximately 129,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. The first section came on stream in December 2020.
  5. What is the largest hydropower plant in Germany?

    The Iffezheim hydropower plant, a dam on the Rhine at the French-German border, straddling the towns of Iffezheim in Germany and Roppenheim in France. With its five turbines, the facility, built on the German bank, is the country’s most powerful hydropower plant, and one of the biggest in Europe, supplying power to 250,000 homes.

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