The “Energiewende” – Germany’s transition towards a secure, environmentally friendly, and economically successful energy future – includes a large-scale restructuring of the energy supply system towards the use of renewable energy in all sectors. While the switch towards renewables in the electricity sector has been very successful so far, the development in other sectors has been less dynamic until now.
The progress of the energy transition can be seen in growing shares of renewable energies in the electricity, heat and transport sector. On this webpage the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics (AGEE-Stat) provides up-to-date insights into the current developments of renewable energies in these sectors as well as their contribution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, our “Monthly and Quarterly Reports” provide near-term insights into the development of renewable energies in Germany (German only). Official data are regularly updated and published (in German and English language) at the “Renewable Energy in figures – webpage” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
Share of Renewables in gross final energy consumption
Renewable energies have undergone rapid growth in Germany. Their share in gross final energy consumption reached 19.3 per cent in 2020 (calculated in accordance with EU directive (2009/28/EG)). The electricity sector is the main driver behind this development with renewables already providing 45.4 percent of electricity consumption (2020).
Electricity generation from renewable energy sources
While in the year 2000 renewables accounted for 6.3 percent of electricity demand only, its share has been growing significantly over the last years, exceeding 10 percent in the year 2005 and 25 percent in the year 2013. In the year 2020 renewable energy sources produced more electricity than all fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) together and now provides 45.4 percent of German electricity demand. With wind power being the most important energy source in the German electricity mix.
Heating and cooling
Renewables’ share for heating and cooling purposes has risen from 4.4 percent in 2000 to 15.2 per cent in 2020. Main energy source in this sector remains biomass (solid, liquid or gaseous), providing still approximately 85 percent of renewable heat in 2020. Since the early 2000s, heat generated by solar thermal plants and heat pumps increases constantly together with the number of installed units.
Renewables in transport
The transport sector holds the lowest share of renewable energy sources. In 2000 less than one percent of final energy consumption for transport purposes were derived from renewable energy sources. This share grew to 7.3 percent in 2020. Main renewable sources being biodiesel, bioethanol and a growing share of renewable electricity.
Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by the use of renewables
The use of renewables has expanded significantly in Germany in recent decades. The German Environmental Agency calculates that in 2019 around 227 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents were avoided through the use of renewables. These emissions would otherwise have been generated through fossil fuels in the electricity, heating and transport sectors.