Indicator: Renewable energy

A graph shows the share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption and gross electricity consumption. The share in gross electricity consumption rose from 6.3 percent in 2000 to 45.4 percent in 2020. The share in gross final energy consumption rose from 6.2 to 19.6 percent from 2004 to 2020.  Click to enlarge
Renewable energy share in gross final energy consumption and gross electricity consumption
Source: German Environment Agency on the basis of Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics Figure as PDF

Table of Contents

 

At a glance

  • The share of renewable energies in electricity consumption increased from 6.3 % to 45.4 % between 2000 and 2020.
  • Therefore, the target range of 40 to 45 % for the year 2025 was already exceeded in 2020.
  • The share of renewables in gross final energy consumption increased from 6.2 % (2004) to 19.6 % (2020).
  • According to preliminary calculations, the goal of increasing the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption to 18 % by 2020 was thus achieved.
  • The 2030 targets can only be achieved with considerable additional efforts due to the sharp drop in expansion dynamics.
 

Environmental importance

Energy-related emissions are responsible for approximately 80 % of all greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. Increasing the share of renewables 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. 'GHG emissions avoided through the use of renewables' indicator).

Germany currently imports the majority of its energy carriers, whereas it is largely self-sufficient in renewables. Increasing the share of renewable energy therefore reduces dependency on the import of raw material.

Cross final energy consumption includes, in addition to final energy consumption, the internal consumption of the generating plants and transmission or line losses. Gross electricity consumption is an important component of gross final energy consumption alongside the consumption of heat and fuels.

 

Assessing the development

In recent decades, renewable energies have developed rapidly: While their share of gross electricity consumption was still at 6.2 % in 2000, it increased to 45.4 % by 2020. This development is a success for 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 renewables in gross electricity consumption were regularly met. The target value of 35 % for the year 2020 was already reached in 2017. The target range for 2025 (40 to 45 %) was also surpassed ahead of schedule in 2020. 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, in particular, 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 accelerated considerably.

According to preliminary calculations, the target of increasing the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption to 18 % in 2020 was achieved with a share of 19.6 %. This significant rise over the previous year was also substantially influenced by 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 increased only slowly over the past ten years.

 

Methodology

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'.