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High prices are having an effect: Germany will consume less electricity in 2022

High prices make an impact
Germany will consume less electricity in 2022

Electricity prices are skyrocketing. The main reason is the war in Ukraine. This is the main reason why people in this country are making an effort to save. And it succeeds – but the success is limited.

German power consumption fell last year, while the share of renewable energy in production rose sharply at the same time. Overall, 4 percent less electricity was consumed than in 2021, as reported by the Federal Network Agency.

The share of renewable energies also climbed again and already accounted for almost half of electricity generation. “Wind turbines made the biggest contribution to this – especially on land,” it said. Together, onshore and offshore systems accounted for a share of 25.9 percent. Photovoltaic covered 11.4 percent and biomass 8.2 percent. Hydropower and other renewables accounted for the remaining 2.8 percent.

Comeback of natural gas and coal

Generation from natural gas increased by 1.7 percent in the past year. “One reason for the use of gas-fired power plants is their flexibility when a higher demand for electricity has to be met in the short term,” explained the Federal Network Agency. Gas-fired power plants are helpful and sometimes indispensable, for example for relieving the grid.

Production from lignite also increased in 2022, by 5.4 percent. Hard coal even saw an increase of 21.4 percent. “Legislators have made it possible for coal-fired power plants to return to the electricity market so that less electricity is generated by gas-fired power plants,” said the Federal Network Agency.

However, the comeback of the three fossil fuels destroyed the climate goals that the traffic light government had set itself. The CO₂ emissions are not going down either.

Significantly more electricity exports abroad

Electricity has become noticeably more expensive in the past year due to the Russian war against Ukraine. According to the information, the average wholesale price was 235.45 euros per megawatt hour. In 2021, at 96.85 euros, it was less than half as much.

Overall, Germany once again exported more electricity than it imported. The surplus grew by more than half.

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