Electricity and heat generation: more coal and nuclear power, fewer renewables

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In the first half of 2021, more primary energy was consumed in Germany than in the same quarter of the previous year. It reached 6191 petajoules and grew by 4.3 percent. The energy mix has changed due to the course of the coronavirus pandemic or the easing of social life and the weather conditions, reports the Working Group on Energy Balances.

The consumption of hard coal rose by almost 23 percent in the past six months. Hard coal was used 31 percent more to generate electricity and heat, as a result of the cool weather and the lack of wind compared to the previous year. The use of coke and coal in the steel industry increased by almost 18 percent, according to a statement from the Working Group on Energy Balances (PDF).

Lignite consumption increased by around a third. According to the consortium, this increase is mainly due to the fact that the weather-related high feed-in of electricity from wind turbines in the previous year was significantly lower this year. Electricity production from nuclear energy rose by 7 percent. With 30.6 percent, natural gas took the lead in the energy mix for the first time.

(Image: AGEB)

The contribution of renewable energies to primary energy consumption decreased by a total of one percent in the first half of the year. Their share in the energy mix shrank from 17.7 to 16.8 percent. While the hydropower plants were able to increase by 5 percent, there was a minus of 20 percent for wind energy compared to the windy previous year. The contribution of solar energy remained stable despite the plant expansion. Due to the temperature, the biomass recorded an increase of 6 percent.

The consumption of mineral oil in Germany decreased by 12.1 percent, its share in total energy consumption fell below 30 percent for the first time. Due to the restricted air traffic, sales of aviation fuel fell by almost 20 percent. The decline in gasoline was 2.6 percent and sales of diesel fuel fell by 7.0 percent. Heating oil sales almost halved in the first half of the year; because of the high prices, consumers would not have been able to decide to replenish their stocks.


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