13 Dec 2019, 13:13
Freja Eriksen

Industry produced almost 13 percent of German electricity in 2018

Clean Energy Wire

Industry produced 55 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in Germany in 2018, meaning local units of mining and manufacturing generated 12.6 percent of the country's gross power production, says the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). The most important energy source for industry was natural gas, whose share has risen from around 35 percent to almost 50 percent over the last ten years. During this time period, coal's share has fallen from about 25 to just 12 percent. Industrial power plants mostly meet internal demand but, in many cases, they also supply electricity to other local units and the country's power grid. Since 2008, the share of power produced by industry has risen by 4 percentage points. The chemical industry accounted for most of the power generated, followed by metal production and processing, and paper, cardboard and other goods.

Industry is Germany's second largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions - trailing the energy sector – and its CO2 output practically has not fallen over the last ten years. Around half of those emissions are caused by companies making steel, cement and chemicals. It is theoretically possible to run most industry processes on renewable power – including its indirect use by making synthetic hydrogen. But switching current production levels to renewable energies would require enormous amounts of energy due to conversion losses.

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