Because of its central geographical situation within Europe, Germany is an important player on the European electricity market and a hub for Europe-wide power flows. Electricity is physically exchanged with nine neighbouring countries – Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland and Sweden.
In 2015 Germany booked an export surplus of more than 50 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) on electricity exchanged. Specifically Germany exported around 83.1 billion kWh of electricity to its neighbours in 2015, while itself importing 33 billion kWh.
Germany has the highest installed power plant capacity in Europe and also generates and consumes the most electricity.
Electricity generation in 2015 was dominated by a rise in generation from renewable sources coupled with a drop in generation from conventional sources.
Currently (as at 10 November 2015) there are generating facilities with a net rating totalling around 199.2 gigawatts (GW). Of this net rating, renewable energy sources account for about 94 GW, of which about 39 GW is from solar and about 41 GW from wind power (onshore about 39 GW and offshore about 3 GW). The installed capacity of photovoltaic and wind power units together already adds up to around 85 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. The supply is safeguarded almost entirely by conventional power plants.
In 2015, conventional forms of energy generated 74.2 percent of electricity in Germany.
Coal and gas - we can't get by without them
In Germany around 647 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity were generated in 2015 – that is 647 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). Despite an increasing contribution from the renewable energies, the share of lignite and hard coal in the energy sources mix in the German power supply remains high.
|Energy sources||2012||2013 ||2014||2015 |
|bn kWh||in %||bn kWh||in %||bn kWh||in %||bn kWh||in %|
|Total gross electric generation||630.2||100||632.1||100||100||627.8||100||647.1||100|
|Other energy sources||25.7||4.1||26.2||4.0||3.1||21.2||3.4||26.1||4.0|
 Provisional figures; totals may not add up due to rounding
 Generation in run-of-river and reservoir power plants and from natural inflow into pumped-storage power plants
 Only from the biogenic content of the domestic refuse (about 50 %)
Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen e. V. (AGEB), status: January 2016;
Gross domestic power consumption in 2014 was 592.2 TWh (2013: 604.9 TWh). The table below provides information on the distribution over the major consumer groups.
|bn kWh||bn kWh||bn kWh||bn kWh||bn kWh|
|Gross electricity generation||633.1||613.1||630.2||632.1||627.8|
|Net electricity generation||594.8||576.9||593.1||595.5||579.1|
|Inflows from abroad||42.2||49.7||44.2||38.4||38.9|
|Net domestic supply||577.2||570.6||570.0||561.7||543.6|
|Power for pumped storage||8.6||7.8||8.1||7.8||7.7|
|Grid and metering losses||28.0||27.3||27.6||24.6||24.4|
|Net electricity consumption||540.6||535.2||534.3||529.2||511.5|
|Mining and processing industry||249.7||249.6||244.6||245.1||240.5|
|Commerce and trade||76.5||76.5||77.7||76.3||74.5|
|Gross domestic consumption||615.3||606.8||606.7||598.3||592.2|
 Provisional figures, in some cases estimates
Source: Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft e. V., status: January 2016