At a glance
- The share of renewable energies in electricity consumption increased from 6.3 % to 41.1 % between 2000 and 2021.
- The share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption increased from 6.2 % (2004) to 19.7 % (2021).
- The goal of increasing the share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption to 18 % by 2020 was achieved.
- The 2030 targets can only be achieved with considerable additional efforts. In particular, more wind and photovoltaic capacity must be added than in recent years.
Energy-related emissions are responsible for approximately 80 % of all greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. Increasing the share of renewable energy in gross electricity and gross energy consumption will help to reduce the use of fossil fuels such as coal or gas and thus the emission of greenhouse gases. Increasing the share of renewable energy is therefore an important contribution to climate protection and also helps to save resources (cf. indicator ‘GHG emissions avoided through the use of renewables’).
Germany currently imports the majority of its fuels, whereas it is largely self-sufficient in renewables. Increasing the share of renewable energy therefore reduces dependency on the import of raw material.
Gross final energy consumption includes, in addition to final energy consumption, the internal consumption of the generating plants and transmission losses. Gross electricity consumption is an important component of gross final energy consumption alongside the consumption of heat and fuels used for transportation.
Assessing the development
In recent decades, renewable energies developed rapidly: While their share of gross electricity consumption was still at 6.3 % in 2000, it increased to 41.1 % by 2021. This development is a success for the German energy and environmental policy. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) contributed to this development in particular. The share of gross final energy consumption also increased significantly – though at a much slower pace.
In the past, the German government's targets for the share of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption were regularly met. The target value of the federal Government’s “Energy Concept” (2010) of 35 % for the year 2020 was already reached in 2017. Greater effort is now required to achieve the binding "65 %” target for 2030 set out in the 2021 amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2021), which was passed in 2020. To achieve this goal the expansion of renewable power plant capacities, which has been slowing down in recent years, and an appropriate expansion of the electricity grids must be pushed considerably. In 2021, there was a significant decrease in the share of renewables in electricity consumption compared to the previous year. The most important reason for this was the unfavorable weather conditions for photovoltaics and even more so for wind energy in 2021.
Regarding gross final energy consumption, the EU Renewable Energies Directive of 2009 set the target to increase the share of renewable energies to 18 % in 2020. The target was met in 2020 with a share of 19.3 %. Compared to the previous year this was a significant increase, which was also substantially influenced by the decrease in the total energy demand in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, considerable additional efforts are necessary for the 2030 target (share of 30 %). Especially in the heating and transport sectors, the shares of renewable energies have increased only slowly for a number of years.
The indicator shows the ratio of renewable energy use to the total gross energy consumption and gross electricity consumption in Germany. The data used are provided by the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics (AGEE-Stat, in German only) and Working Group on Energy Balances (AGEB).
More detailed information (in German only): 'Energieverbrauch nach Energieträgern, Sektoren und Anwendungen' and 'Stromerzeugung erneuerbar und konventionell'.