Looking back to 2023: Renewables have crossed the 50% mark

A record level of renewables in the energy mix, falling carbon dioxide emissions, a gas supply that remained stable and secure – these are the figures related to the energy transition in 2023.

Looking back to 2023: Renewables have crossed the 50% mark© Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs Climate Action; Working Group on Renewables Statistics

2023 ended with a new record in the context of the energy transition: for the first time ever, more than half of the electricity consumed in Germany came from renewables such as solar power and wind. This can be seen from the preliminary data published by the Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics in mid-January. According to this data, renewables accounted for more than 50% of Germany’s gross electricity consumption (2022: 46%).

Falling carbon dioxide emissions and gas consumption

And there is more good news: harmful carbon dioxide emissions fell considerably in 2023 (in German only), particularly emissions from electricity generation. According to Agora Energiewende, emissions fell to the lowest level recorded in 70 years. The main reason for this is the drastic reduction of coal use. But the truth is that subdued economic activity and crisis-related falls in output of the energy-intensive industries also caused emissions to fall.

Compared to 2022, gas consumption fell by 5% in 2023. The 2023 annual figures on gas consumption published by the Bundesnetzagentur show that households and commerce accounted for 41% of Germany’s total gas consumption, with 59% consumed by the industrial sector. Compared to the average consumption levels for 2018 to 2021, gas consumption fell by 17.5%. Private households and commerce reduced their consumption by 16.4% and the industrial sector brought down its consumption by 18.3%.