CO2 emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity in further decline in 2019

Germany exports more electricity than it imports

overhead electicity line and wind power plantsClick to enlarge
Germany still exports more electricity than it imports.
Source: Gina Sanders /

The specific CO2 emission factor of Germany's electricity mix continues to be on the decline, say the latest calculations done by the German Environment Agency (UBA) for 2019. The main relevant factors which contributed to this were increased electricity generated from renewables and less from coal firing as well as prices in emissions trading. Germany's exports of electricity continue to be higher than its imports. Germany's average emissions in 2017 were 485 grams of carbon dioxide as direct emissions for the generation of one kilowatt hour of electricity for final consumption. That is 279 grams per kilowatt hour, or 36 percent, less than in 1990. For 2018 UBA's calculations are based on provisional data, that is, 468 grams per kilowatt hour (-296 g/KWh, -38% compared to 1990 base year). Projected levels for 2019 are 401 grams per kilowatt hour (-363 g/KWh, -47% compared to 1990).

The emissions of electricity production in 2017 decreased by 83 million tonnes CO2 to 283 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Projected emissions for 2018 amount to 269 million tonnes CO2, and 219 million tonnes for 2019. 

Accuracy of data

The present emissions calculations for Germany are based on country emissions reporting data from the German Environment Agency, data from the Working Group on Renewable Energies Statistics (AGEE-Stat), data from other official sources, and calculations by the Working Group on Energy Balances (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Energiebilanzen) e.V. for the 1990-2017 period. Provisional data were used to calculate 2018 emissions. 2019 emissions have been estimated.

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