02 Aug 2023, 13:07
Julian Wettengel

High prices and weak economy lower German energy use and CO2 emissions in first half of 2023

Clean Energy Wire

German primary energy consumption was down a “considerable” seven percent in the first six months of 2023 (compared to the same period last year), due to high energy prices and weak economic development, said energy market researchers of the AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB). Energy use from renewable sources increased slightly (0.6%), and there was a marked decrease in the use of fossil fuels, the preliminary data shows. AGEB estimates that energy-related CO₂ emissions fell by more than eight percent (28 million tonnes) in the first half of 2023 compared to the same time period in the previous year.

While wholesale energy prices have declined since the height of the energy crisis in the first half of 2022, they were still significantly above 2021 levels, so they continued to stimulate energy savings, said AGEB. In addition, lower energy use was strongly influenced by the significantly reduced production output from energy-intensive industries; like chemicals, metals, paper and glass. Both hard coal (-11%) and lignite (-18%) consumption decreased as power plants operated less due to lower electricity needs. Germany was a net electricity exporter in the first half of 2023 but imported more electricity than in exported during the second quarter of the year. 

Preliminary data by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and energy industry association BDEW presented at the end of June showed that wind, solar and other renewable energy sources covered 52 percent of German electricity consumption in the first six months of 2023 — up from 49 percent in the first half of 2022. The government has proposed legislation which would set energy savings targets: Germany would have to reduce primary energy consumption by almost 40 percent by 2030 (compared to 2008). The law is set to be voted on in parliament after the summer break.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee