Low Temperatures: In 2012 Germany’s Energy Consumption Grows Faster Than the Economy

The Working Group on Energy Balances (AGEB) has recently published a detailed report regarding the energy consumption in 2012 in Germany. Primary energy consumption increased by 0.9%, while overall economic growth was 0.7%. The structure and the developement of energy consumption in the last year were mainly driven by energy policy and the low temperatures.

Total primary energy consumption increased to 13,645 petajoules (PJ) or to 466 million tons of coal equivalent (tce). “This is an increase of under 1 %  compared with the previous year. The level of energy consumption is only slightly above the 2009 crisis” the manager of AGEB, Hans-Joachim Ziesing said.

The biggest impact on energy consumption in 2012 was the cool weather that led to an increase in energy consumption. The average temperature of 9.2 ° C was below the average of the past ten years and much lower than in the previous year (9.7 ° C). Especially the heat energies oil and gas benefited from the low temperatures. By contrast, the economy led to a reduction of energy consumption. While overall economic output rose by 0.7 % , energy-intensive industries, production in the manufacturing sector and in particular in energy intensive industries decreased by 1.2 %. Without the effect of cold weather, energy consumption in Germany would have decreased by one percent.

With regard to the different types of energy energy sources, the development was different. Renewable energies had the strongest percentage increase. They grew by over 8 %. Hence the share of renewables in total energy consumption rose from 10.8 to 11.6 %. Energy consumption from hard coal increased by 3.1 percent, lignite by 5.3 % and natural gas by 1.4 %.

In total Germany covered 32 % of its energy consumption from local energy sources.

Source: Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen

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