German energy use down 6.8 pct in Q1 2020

Xinhua News Agency | Jun 2, 2020 at 5:36 PM

BERLIN, June 2 (Xinhua) -- In the first three months (Q1) of 2020, Germany's total energy consumption was 6.8 percent below the previous year's level, according to provisional figures published by the Working Group on Energy Balances (AGEB) on Tuesday.

The decline in German energy use was due to the lower consumption of energy-intensive industries, warmer temperatures in the first two months of the year and the "first effects" of the coronavirus pandemic, the AGEB noted.

"With the exception of renewables, all energy sources were affected by the decline," the AGEB said. Renewable sources increased their contribution to Germany's energy mix by six percent in Q1 2020.

Wind power generated an "extraordinary plus" of 22 percent of total consumption, while solar energy recorded a ten percent increase.

By contrast, consumption of hard coal fell by around 22 percent in Q1 and lignite consumption declined by more than 30 percent, according to the AGEB.

The German government has agreed to shut down all the country's coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest. Last week, German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that "coal-based electricity is increasingly disappearing from the market, making room for electricity from wind and sun."