AGEB Forecasts Lowest Energy Consumption in Germany Since Reunification – Renewables Grow Against Trend in First 9 Months of 2014

Germany’s primary energy consumption is likely to fall to about 13.100 petajoule (PJ) or 446.5 million tonnes of coal equivalent (TCE) in 2014. This would be a 5% decrease compared with 2013, and the lowest level since reunification, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (Working Group Energy Balances – AGEB) said in its traditional autumn forecast. The mild winter had a much stronger impact on energy consumption than the economy, according to AGEB. Adjusted by temperature effects, the decline was 2%. Lower demand mainly hit conventional energy sources leading to lower CO2 emissions, while renewable energy grew by 1.6% against the trend in the first nine months, AGEB said.

The AGEB forecast is based on energy consumption data for the first nine months of 2014. Only an early winter period with low temperatures might significantly affect consumption for the whole of 2014, AGEB pointed out.

Due to the mild weather primary energy consumption in the first nine months amounted to 9,501 PJ or 324.1 million TCE, down 6.7% compared with the same period last year.

Mild temperatures and high stocks caused mineral oil consumption for heating purposes to fall by 3%. Transport fuel consumption on the other hand rose by 1%, in particular because diesel consumption rose by 2% while petrol consumption grew only slightly and kerosine demand fell by 1%. Petroleum consumption rose by 6%.

In line with data published by the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) this week, AGEB says that gas consumption declined by 18% as less gas was used for heating purposes and in CHP plants. Declining production in the basic chemical industry also caused demand to shrink.

Hard-coal consumption was down 9.3% due to the weather and high green electricity production (which enjoys priority in the German grids, cf. Section 11 EEG 2014). While demand by the iron and steel industry rose by 5.3%, the use of hard-coal in power plants fell by roughly 15%.

Due to maintenance and repair work lignite-fired power plant output decreased by 4%. Since 90% of the brown coal is used for power generation, lignite mining was also down. Total lignite consumption shrank by 3.3%.

Nuclear fuel consumption decreased by 1.2%.

Renewable power consumption rose by 1.6% in the first nine months of 2014. Hydro power plant output (not including pumped-storage power plants) fell by 18%. In contrast wind power increased by 16% and electricity from PV power plants by 15%. The share of renewables in the primary energy consumption in the first nine months rose from 10.3% in 2013 to 11.2% in 2014 and the share in gross electricity consumption (Bruttostromverbrauch) increased from 25% to 28%.

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

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