European power generation
Electricity is physically exchanged with nine direct neighbouring countries – Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Sweden (via a submarine cable). Germany exported around 80.7 billion kWh of electricity to its neighbours in 2016, while itself importing 27.0 billion kWh.
Germany has the highest installed power plant capacity in Europe and also generates and consumes the most electricity.
National power generation
Currently, there are generating facilities with a net rating totalling around 204.1 gigawatts (current as of 16 November 2016, BNetzA list of power plants). Of this net rating, renewable energy sources account for about 94 GW is from solar and about 45 GW from wind power. The installed capacity of photovoltaic and wind power units together already adds up to around 84 GW.
However, this capacity is not the same as the output available on the electricity market to meet demand at any given time, as the latter depends on the weather conditions. In order to ensure that the electricity supply remains secure when there is no wind or sun, electricity from conventional power stations is used.
Renewables becoming ever more important in electricity generation
In 2016, 188 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity were generated from renewable energy sources, attaining a 31.7% share of total gross electricity consumption.
The electricity mix is changing
In Germany around 648 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity were generated in 2016 – that is 648 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). In view of an increasing contribution from renewable energy, the share of nuclear energy, lignite and hard coal in the energy sources mix in the German power supply is falling.
|Energy sources||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016 |
|bn kWh||%||bn kWh||%||bn kWh||%||bn kWh||%||bn kWh||%|
|Total gross electricity generation||628,6||100||637,7||100||626,7||100||646,9||100||648,2||100|
|Hard coal||116,4||18,5||127,3 ||20,0||118,6||18,9||117,70||18,2||111,5||17,2|
|Domestic refuse ||5,0||0,8||5,4||0,8||6,1||1,0||5,8||0,9||6,0||0,9|
|Other energy sources||25,7||4,1||26,2||4,1||27,0||4,3||27,3||4,2||27,5||4,2|
|Balance of electricity exchange with other countries||-23,1||-33,8||-35,6||51,8||-53,7|
|Gross electricity consumption in Germany ||605,6||603,9||591,1||595,1||594,7|
1) Preliminary figures inc. some estimates.
2) Generation in run-of-river and reservoir power plants and from natural inflow into pumped-storage power plants
3) Only generation from biogenic waste (approx. 50%).
4) Including grid losses and in-house consumption
5) 5.6 TWh higher than official statistics. Subsequent correction in 2015 not taken into account in official statistics for 2013.
Sources: Federal Statistical Office, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), Statistik der Kohlenwirtschaft e.V (an organisation tasked with providing the Government with statistics from the coal industry), Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW), Working Group on Energy Balances.