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21 Oct 2019, 13:07
Freja Eriksen

Energy efficiency in Germany improved by 3.2 percent in 2018 – AGEB

Clean Energy Wire

In 2018, energy efficiency in Germany improved by 3.2 percent compared to the previous year, when adjusted for temperature and inventory effects, according to preliminary estimates by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). In order to produce products and services worth 1,000 euros, 4.5 gigajoule (GJ) of primary energy were used (4.7 GJ in 2017), writes AGEB. Efficiency gains in power generation and other energy conversion sectors contributed to the overall rise in energy efficiency. Among the reasons for this were modern, more energy efficient power plants, statistical effects of Germany's phaseout of nuclear power, and the expansion of renewable energy sources, said AGEB in a press release. Energy efficiency in private households, adjusted for temperature effects, however, worsened by 1.6 percent in 2018. Since 1990, energy efficiency in the German economy has improved overall by 40 percent, with an average rise of 1.9 percent per year. In private households, however, energy efficiency has only improved by 29 percent during the same time frame, making the sector lag significantly behind others.

Overall, final energy consumption in relation to economic output ("final energy productivity") has improved 1.9 percent in 2018, says AGEB. Contrary to primary energy use, it does not take into account losses in the energy supply system through energy conversion and transport. It is a key energy transition target of the German government. It has set itself the target of improving final energy productivity by 2.1 percent per year until 2050, but between 1990 and 2018 the annual average improvement was only 1.6 percent, according to AGEB. The German Energy Agency (dena) has warned that "the other targets of the energy transition cannot be achieved without a change of course" in energy efficiency.

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