Germany Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources and energy

Germany’s natural resources are limited with one exception: the reserves of coal, mainly lignite, which are the largest in the EU. But the country has decided to stop using coal as an energy source from the mid-2030s. In addition, nuclear power will have been phased out by 2022.

Germany is one of the world’s largest coal producers. Coal production has been declining since 1989, mainly in the case of coal mining. State aid to the mining industry has been cut, unprofitable coal mines in the east have been closed and strict rules have been introduced to limit environmental damage.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Germany with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

In addition, there is commercial extraction of salt and pot ash (potassium carbonate). The production of oil and natural gas is extremely small compared to what is imported.

The country imported some 70 percent of its primary energy needs in the 2010s (all but electricity and heat). More than a third of total energy consumption at the end of the 2010 was oil, a quarter of natural gas, 18 percent of coal, 14 percent of renewable energy sources and just over 6 percent of nuclear power.

Germany is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to developing renewable energy sources; the country produces a large part of the world’s solar cells and wind turbines. Nearly half of electricity generation came from renewable energy sources at the end of the 2010s.

The German energy policy, Energiwende (energy conversion), which has been developed since the beginning of the 1990s, aims to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation while phasing out nuclear power and coal. By 2050, the goal is for four-fifths of all electricity and about two-thirds of all energy to come from renewable energy in the form of, for example, wind turbines and solar energy, which are the most renewable sources that have been developed most and are expected to continue to expand.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, GM stands for Germany. Visit itypeusa for more information about Germany.

Germany is the first major industrial nation in the world that plans to phase out all its nuclear power. In 2001, the country decided to close the 17 nuclear reactors by 2022. The decision was temporarily revoked in 2010 but reintroduced after the Japan nuclear disaster in the spring of 2011, when Germany shut down eight reactors. The old-fashioned nuclear reactors in former East Germany were closed during the 1990s for security reasons.

As a leading nation in terms of environmental protection, recycling and energy saving measures, Germany in 1998 committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 21 percent in 2010 compared to 1990 levels. The target was close to 2007, when Germany decided to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, and by 2020 had already achieved a 40 percent reduction compared to 1990. But by the end of the 2010s, the country was still far behind, which meant that the government then succeeded in agreeing on a new climate plan where the country aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 55 percent of the 1990 level by 2030. Investments in renewable energy will help the country achieve its ambitious goals, as well as a major investment in electric cars, expanded public transport, lower prices for train tickets and higher air taxes. In addition, the cost of emission rights in the transport and construction sectors will be gradually increased until 2025. One important reason why Germany succeeded so well in reducing emissions during the 00s was that many coal-fired power plants and industrial plants without purification equipment were closed down in former East Germany. or equipped. Other environmental problems remain, not only in eastern Germany.


Energy use per person

3,818 kilograms of oil equivalent (2015)

Electricity consumption per person

7035 kWh, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

719 883 thousand tons (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

8.9 tonnes (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

14.2 percent (2015)



The new government takes office

Social Democratic SPD’s members say in a vote yes to a large coalition between the SPD and the CDU / CSU. Thus, Germany gets a new government close to three months after the September elections. Angela Merkel is approved by the Bundestag for her third term as Chancellor. The vote figures will be 462 for and 150 against Merkel. (See further Current Policy).


Government coalition is formed

After several weeks of negotiations, the CDU / CSU and the Social Democratic SPD agree to form a major coalition. Among the disputed issues resolved are pensions, tolls and the SPD requirement to introduce minimum wage. Before a government can be formed, the settlement must be approved in a vote among SPD members.


Eavesdropping Merkel

The relationship with the United States is under pressure when Chancellor Angela Merkel receives information indicating that the US national security service NSA was intercepting her cellphone. In June, a fugitive ex-CIA employee, Edward Snowden, had leaked information about the NSA’s extensive interception operations and stated that the operation also included allied countries in Europe. (see also January 2014)

Negotiations on government coalition

The CDU / CSU and the Social Democrats hold talks on possible coalition negotiations. Talks are also held between CDU / CSU and the Greens, who do not, however, want to enter into any coalition cooperation. Instead, the Social Democrats enter into coalition negotiations with the Christian Democrat, but set conditions for, among other things, pension improvements and minimum wages.


Election success for CDU / CSU

September 22

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU / CSU gets 41.5 percent of the vote in the Bundestag election, an increase of nearly 8 percentage points. Social Democratic SPDs also progress to some extent and gain 25.7 percent. Merkel’s coalition partner, liberal FDP, on the other hand, falls outside the federation by just under 5 percent. The same goes for Eurocritical Alternatives for Germany (AFD). The Left and the Green both go back and receive 8.6 and 8.4 percent of the vote, respectively.


New immigration statistics

Figures show that Germany gained over one million immigrants in 2012, the highest number since the escape from the Balkan War in 1995. From the economic crisis countries Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy, immigration to Germany increased over 40 percent in 2012, but most came from Poland and Romania.


Minister resigns

February 14th

Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan resigns after losing her doctorate in philosophy after accusations of plagiarizing parts of her dissertation in 1980. Schavan rejects the accusations but says she does not want to hurt the government, where she was a close ally to Chancellor Merkel.


Opposition wins in Lower Saxony

In the important state elections in northern Lower Saxony, the CDU goes back and loses power to the SPD and the Green after ten years. It gives the opposition a majority in the German Federal Council, which can block the law of the Bundestag.

Germany Energy and Environment Facts

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