28 Jan 2020, 13:48
Sören Amelang

German households use less energy for heating, more for cooling

Corrects third sentence: Energy use for cooling went up 30 percent, not for heating.

Clean Energy Wire

German households used less energy for heating and lighting in 2018 than 10 years earlier, but more for warm water and cooling. According to energy market research group AGEB, households used 2 percent less energy for heating compared to 2008 when adjusted for weather differences and 14 percent less for lighting. In contrast, energy use for cooling increased 30 percent, and for heating water 6 percent. Energy use in transport increased 5 percent, and energy demand for IT increased almost 2 percent. Total final energy use decreased by almost 2 percent between 2008 and 2018.

"More than 53 percent of total final energy consumption in Germany is accounted for by the provision of heat,” AGEB reported. “A decline in heating requirements was offset by increases in demand for process heat in industry and commerce." Energy efficiency increased significantly in both areas, but economic growth overcompensated industry savings of process heat, according to AGEB.

A mainly fossil energy guzzler, heating in Germany has taken a back seat to the Energiewende's poster child, the power sector. But the “Wärmewende”, or heating transition, has significant potential to curb emissions and is essential for Germany to reach its target of climate neutrality by 2050. Key to the transition is phasing out fossil-fuelled heating in nearly 22 million buildings, most of which also need energy efficient renovations.

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Sören Amelang

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