Oil and petroleum products constitute the largest source of energy in Germany, accounting for 35% of primary energy demand in 2020, followed by natural gas and coal at 26% and 16%, respectively. The share of renewable energy in the electricity sector increased steadily and reached 45% in 2020 in gross electricity generation before falling to 41% in 2021. Due to a much slower progress in the other sectors, renewables contributed less than 20% of gross primary energy demand in 2021.,
Increasing the share of renewable energy is the main driver for emissions reduction in the electricity sector., in the buildings sector, energy consumption in 2019 was at the same level as in 1990. This was mainly due to a switch from coal to natural gas in 1990s, which has resulted in years of emissions stagnation. Unchanged emissions levels in the transport sector between 1990 and 2019 reflect a very modest increase in the share of renewables in the transport sector, counterbalanced by an increase in energy consumption in this sector by almost 3%.
The new German government which took office in December 2021 declared its willingness to bring the move coal phase-out date back from 2038 to 2030, however, this declaration still has not been enshrined in law. Against the background of the war in Ukraine and the high costs of fossil energy sources, in April 2022 the Minister for Economy and Climate presented its first package of measures that aims to accelerate the development of renewable energy sources. The measures are to be complemented by a new package of measures (‘Summer Package’) focusing on decarbonising the building sector. At the same time, German government is planning to build LNG ports to move away from Russian natural gas imports. This would result in an additional carbon lock-in, especially as the LNG ports would not be ready in time to mitigate the current energy crisis.