A large number of variables determine Germany’s energy demand. In addition to seasonal and weather-related factors, the level of energy consumption is above all influenced by population size, the size of total living space, the number of households, the number of vehicles and their mileage and the volume of economic output.
Apart from that, Germany is heavily dependent on the import of primary energy sources in order to meet its energy needs. Nevertheless, the importance of domestic sources of renewable energy has significantly increased in recent years - a trend that is bound to continue. Primary energy supply in Germany is based on a broad mix of different energy sources. Since Germany has relatively few deposits of energy commodities, substantial parts of the country’s energy supply must be covered by imported energy.
Numerous measures have already reduced emissions of pollutants significantly. However, the formation of CO2 cannot be prevented during combustion. Conservation of resources and climate protection must therefore be taken into account in all energy policy measures. Globally, as opposed to within Germany, there is a steady increase in energy demand.
The potential useful life of raw materials is determined by the size of the respective resource potential, use intensity and use productivity. The distinction between the terms "reserves" and "resources" is of particular importance: reserves are deposits in the earth's crust that have been reliably proven and can be economically extracted using known technology. Resources, on the other hand, are deposits that are expected to occur due to geological indicators but cannot yet be economically extracted and are not yet reliably proven. Resources can become reserves after an increase in prices on the world commodity markets and due to new exploration results.
Energy research contributes to securing and expanding the technological options for improving the responsiveness and flexibility of energy supply. The aim is to give businesses and consumers the opportunity to adapt to future developments.
A number of different factors influence energy prices: price trends on international commodity markets, the development of the euro/dollar exchange rate, the development of costs for domestic production factors, government intervention and government requirements and - not least - the respective market conditions.