Energy mix in Germany 2016-2018

Despite renewables increasing during this period to a share of 35 percent of electricity generation, Germany is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels. In 2018, approximately 35 percent of electricity was generated by coal, the most polluting of energy sources. In comparison, the average share of solid fuels in the EU energy mix was 13.6 percent in 2017.

Coal power plant pollution

In 2018, seven of the top 10 biggest polluters in Europe were German coal power plants. The biggest offender was the Neurath plant, which produced 32.2 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent. In 2019, the country agreed to end its reliance on coal by the year 2038. However, there are concerns over the impact this phase out will have on the German energy sector, especially with employment. Although employment in the coal and lignite mining industry has decreased significantly since 2008, there were still approximately 16,729 employees in 2016.

Move towards renewables

With the phase out of coal planned, there will likely be an increase in renewable electricity generation. Since 2008, the generation of electricity from renewables has already increased noticeably, especially in the wind power sector. In 2008, there was no electricity generated by offshore wind power, but by 2018 approximately 19.4 terawatt hours of electricity was generated by offshore wind farms.

Mix of energy sources used to generate electricity in Germany from 2016 to 2018*

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Release date

August 2020



Survey time period

2016 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* As of October 9, 2019

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Statistics on "Renewable energy in Germany"

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