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Germany’s power consumption falls in 2022, generation from renewables rises

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) has published the country’s electricity market data for 2022. German electricity consumption (grid load) fell by 4% in 2022 to reach 484.2 TWh in 2022 (504.5 TWh in 2021), while net electricity generation increased by 0.4% to 506.8 TWh (505.0 TWh in 2021). The share of electricity generated from renewable energies increased in 2022 to reach 48.3% (42.7% in 2021). Wind (onshore and offshore) accounted for a share of 25.9%. Solar PV accounted for 11.4% and biomass for 8.2%. The remaining 2.8% was accounted for by hydropower and other renewables. Overall, generation from renewable energies in 2022 was 233.9 TWh, around 8.5% more than in 2021 (215.5 TWh). At 100.5 TWh, onshore wind generation was about 12.4% higher than in 2021 (89.4 TWh). At 24.7 TWh, generation from offshore wind turbines was 2.9% above the previous year's figure of 24.0 TWh. 55.3 TWh were generated by Solar PV in 2022, 18.7% more than in 2021 (46.6 TWh).

Overall generation from conventional energy sources totalled 272.9 TWh in 2022 (-5.7% compared to 2021). However, generation from natural gas was 1.7% higher than in 2021, generation from lignite increased by 5.4% and generation from hard coal increased by 21.4%. This is due to the fact that Germany allowed coal-fired power plants to return to the electricity market to be less dependent on natural gas amid strained relations with Russia. Nuclear generation declined by 49.8% in 2022.

The average day-ahead wholesale electricity price in 2022 was €235.45/MWh, more than twice the average price in 2021 (€96.85/MWh). In 69 of the 8,760 hours traded, the German day-ahead wholesale electricity price was negative (139 hours in 2021). During the year, there was an overall trend towards higher wholesale electricity prices.

Germany was again a net exporter of electricity in 2022 with a total of 26.28 TWh. Exports amounted to 62.05 TWh (56.99 TWh in 2021) and imports to 35.77 TWh (39.60 TWh in 2021). Net exports increased by 51.1% compared to 2021 (17.39 TWh). At €2.9bn, the export surplus in 2022 was higher than in 2021 (€1.14bn).