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16 Oct 2020, 13:32
Benjamin Wehrmann

Natural gas provides half of German industry's power generation

Clean Energy Wire

Natural gas has become by far the most important energy source for power generation of Germany's industrial companies, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) has found. Half (50%) of all power produced by industrial companies came from natural gas plants in 2019, up from 36 percent in 2008. At the same time, the share of lignite and hard coal dropped from about 25 to below 12 percent. Taken together, all industrial companies contributed nearly 14 percent to Germany's gross power production of 387 billion kilowatt hours, Destatis said, an increase of over 5 percentage points since 2008. Industry plants primarily supply production processes of the companies but often also feed their power into the public grid. The largest power producers among industrial companies were chemical plants, metal producers and paper producers, the statisticians said.

Gas from fossil sources as well as that produced with renewable energy sources is set to become the German energy transition's "second pillar" as the country simultaneously phases out nuclear and coal-fired power plants in the next years, according to the energy industry lobby group BDEW. Low power prices and high costs for carbon emissions in the European emissions trading system ETS have already led to demoted gas plants coming back online in recent months. Germany is facing difficulties in securing additional supply of natural gas in the medium term, as the planned gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 that connects it with Russia is being challenged by the USA on grounds that it would make the country too dependent on Moscow, with the US government insisting that Germany imports liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US instead.

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