German Primary Energy Consumption Increased 4.1% in First Half of 2013

According to preliminary information by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (Working Group Energy Balances – AGEB), Germany’s primary energy consumption amounted to 7,177 petajoule (PJ) or 245 million TCE in the first half of 2013. This is an increase of 4.1% compared to the same period in 2012. Weather conditions – the long winter and the cold spring – are the determining factor for the increase. The economic development hardly affected energy consumption.

Mineral oil increased slightly by about 3%, while fuel consumption in total declined. Due to the cold temperatures the consumption of natural gas increased significantly by 10% to 1,780 PJ or 18 million TCE. Hard coal consumption also showed a significant increase of 6%, from 829 PJ (2012) to 879 PJ (2013). Compared to last year the use of hard coal for heat and power generation rose by 8,5%, while use for the steel industry remained on the same level.

Lignite consumption declined slightly by about 2%. AGEB points out that this development is due to the shutdown of old plants and the commissioning of new plants with better efficiency, so that less lignite is necessary for the generation of the same amount of energy.

Nuclear energy made a nearly unchanged contribution to the energy balance of the first six months in 2013. Renewables increased their contribution by nearly 4%, from 521 PJ (2012) to 527 PJ (2013). This increase is mainly based on energy generated from hydropower (not including pumped storage power plants) and biomass. The share of wind energy declined by 10 %, mainly because of lack of wind in the first quarter of 2013. The contribution of photovoltaics was only slightly above the value of 2012.

The developments had only little effect on the share each group holds in the German energy mix: 31.8% were still covered by mineral oil, followed by natural gas with 24.8%. The shares of hard coal and lignite were 12.3% and 11.2%. The share of renewables in total energy consumption remained constant at 11.7 %. Nuclear energy’s share was 7,3%, with a declining trend:

2012 2013
Mineral Oil 32.1 31.8
Natural Gas 23.4 24.8
Hard Coal 12.0 12.3
Lignite 11.9 11.2
Nuclear 7.6 7.3
Renewables 11.7 11.7
Power Exchange Balance -0.5 -0.8
Other 1.8 1.7
Total 100.0 100.0

Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (Working Group Energy Balances – AGEB)

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