Less fossil fuel, more independence
Germany is becoming less dependent on oil and gas imports. At the same time, overall demand for energy is decreasing – not least because Germany is making better use of energy.
Germany is spending less on fossil fuels. In 2014, the country imported 80.5 billion euros worth of fossil fuels compared to 93.9 billion euros worth in 2013. This means that Germany is becoming less dependent on oil and gas imports. But what is behind this development?
Germany is importing smaller quantities of fossil fuels
A large portion of the fossil fuels Germany relies on for its energy supply are imported. This is true of 87 per cent of the gas and hard coal we use and of 98 per cent of our petroleum. Lignite is an exception to the rule, with Germany posting slightly higher exports in 2014 than the comparative figure for imports. It is true that most of the savings Germany has been able to make on fossil fuel imports can be attributed to lower commodity prices and to the mild weather we had in 2014. But that’s not the whole story. We have also brought down our overall energy consumption, which has also helped reduce our imports of fossil fuels.
Germany is making better use of energy
Overall, Germany reduced its energy consumption by 4.7 per cent last year, bringing it down to the lowest level since 1990. It does, however, seem likely that energy consumption in 2015 will be higher than it was in 2014. So we can’t rest on our laurels. We must continue to put the measures agreed into practice, so that we further improve our energy performance.
An ever-greater role for renewables
Spending on fossil fuels is down, the share of renewables in our power consumption is up. The Baden-Württemberg Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) expect the share of renewables in Germany to reach 33 per cent of our entire gross electricity consumption this year.