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 42.1 percent in 2019. The share in gross final energy consumption rose from 6.2 to 17.1 percent from 2004 to 2019.  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 42.1 % between 2000 and 2019.
  • The share of renewables in gross final energy consumption increased from 6.2 % (2004) to 17.1 % (2019).
  • The target value of 35 % for 2020 for gross electricity consumption was already achieved in 2017. For gross final energy consumption, it is possible to achieve the 2020 target.
  • For the year 2030 the targets for the expansion of renewable energies can only be achieved with considerable additional efforts.
 

Environmental importance

Energy-related emissions are responsible for more than 80 % of all greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing the share of renewables in gross electricity and gross energy consumption will help to reduce the use of fossil fuels such as coal 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 and increases security of supply.

Gross final energy consumption takes into account, in addition to final energy consumption, the internal consumption of the generating plants and transmission losses. It is defined as the reference value for the share of renewable energies in the Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and is more suitable than primary energy consumption. 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 around 6 % in 2000, it increased to 42 % by 2019. The share of gross final energy consumption has also increased strongly. This development is a success for German energy and environmental policy. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) contributed to this development in particular.

In the past, the German government's targets for the share of renewables in gross electricity consumption were regularly exceeded. For example, the target value of the energy concept from 2010 of 35 % for 2020 was already achieved in 2017 (BMWi, BMU 2010). For the year 2025, the EEG amendment 2017 envisaged the target range of 40 to 45 %. The lower target value was already exceeded in 2019, but greater efforts are needed to achieve the target of 65 % for 2030 set in the German government's Climate Protection Programme (BReg 2019). In particular, the expansion of renewable power plant capacities and electricity grids must be stepped up significantly.

It is also a major challenge to achieve the targets for the share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption. The target for 2020 (18 % share) was within reach in 2019 with a share of 17.1 %. Yet, the 2030 target will require considerable additional efforts, especially in the heating and transport sectors.

 

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). AGEB explains its calculation methods for the total final energy consumption in the Preface to the Energy Balances (AGEB 2015). AGEE-Stat provides a documentation of its methodology (Walker et al. 2016, in German only).

More detailed information (in German only)'Energieverbrauch nach Energieträgern, Sektoren und Anwendungen' and 'Stromerzeugung erneuerbar und konventionell'.