Sustainable development in Germany - 17 Goals to Transform our World

Renewable energies – Strengthening a sustainable energy supply

Indicator 7.2.a: Share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption

SDG-7.2.1
(Evaluation of the development of Germany in the reporting year 2019 as reporting year from indicator report 2021)

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows the energy generated from renewable sources as a percentage of gross final energy consumption. Gross final energy consumption encompasses the energy used by final consumers, transmission losses and the energy generation sectors’ own energy consumption.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

Reserves of fossil fuels such as oil and gas are limited. Their use, moreover, entails the emission of greenhouse gases. Switching to renewables, natural energy sources that constantly regenerate, serves to reduce energy-related emissions and hence the extent of climate change. In addition, it reduces dependence on energy imports and consumption of resources and promotes technological innovation. For this reason, the target of the German Government is to increase the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption to 18% by 2020, to 30% by 2030, to 45% by 2040 and to 60% by 2050.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

Last modification of code (data) 2021-06-30: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window
Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-10: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

For this indicator, the electricity generated from renewable sources, which include hydro power, onshore and offshore wind power and solar power, the heat generated from sources such as geothermal energy, biomass and biogenic waste and the consumption of regenerative motor fuels are presented as a percentage of the energy generated from all sources that is consumed in Germany. Besides renewables, these sources also include imported electricity and fossil fuels such as coal and lignite, oil and gas.

The indicator is calculated by AGEE-Stat, the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics. In contrast to the reporting under the Renewable Energy Directive of the European Union (Directive 2009/28/EC), uses an average value for hydro and wind power over several years to smoothen the effects of varying supply, this indicator takes account of the volumes of electricity actually generated from wind and hydro power (German Government Energy Concept).

With regard to the method used to calculate the indicator, it should be noted that imports and exports of electricity are not included in full in the consumption of energy from renewable sources, whereas they are factored into gross final energy consumption. Accordingly, the indicator may overstate or understate the ratio of energy from renewable sources to gross final energy consumption, depending on the balance of trade. If there were an export surplus for electricity – as has been the case since 2001 – the actual percentage of renewables in the energy mix would be lower than the level represented by the indicator.

Between 2005 and 2019, the share of renewable energy in gross final energy consumption rose from 7.1% to 17.7%. If the trend continues at the average pace seen in the past few years, the goal for 2020 will be achieved.

The use of renewables varies widely between sectors. In 2019, the share accounted for 42.0% of gross electricity generation, 15.0% of final energy consumption for heating and cooling and 5.6% in the transport sector. Among renewable energies, biomass, with a share of 58.8% and wind power, which accounts for 24.1%, play the greatest part in primary energy consumption.

The indicator has dependencies with indicator 13.1.a (Greenhouse gas emissions), as well as with indicators 3.2.a (Emissions of air pollutants) and 7.2.b (Share of electricity from renewable energies in gross electricity consumption).

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

7.2.a Share of renewable energies in gross final energy consumption

Target

Increase to 18% by 2020 and to 30% by 2030, to 45% by 2040 and to 60% by 2050

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

Evaluation Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich Keine Bewertung möglich

Source 1

 Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics

Organisation

Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics

Data source Development of renewable energies in Germany opens in a new window

Source 2

 Länderarbeitskreis Energiebilanzen

Organisation

Länderarbeitskreis Energiebilanzen

Data source Energy indicators: Renewable energy sources (only available in German) opens in a new window

Source 3

 Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Organisation

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy