Germany natural gas

Germany is the world’s biggest natural gas importer.

Germany is the largest consumer in Europe and imports 92% of its natural gas, which at 90.2 billion m3 in 2017 exceeded the 2008 peak. Gas accounted for 22.6% of Germany’s primary energy use in 2016. This was used to generate 86.0 TWh of electricity in 2017 (of c. 640 TWh), a little over a third of coal at 242.2 TWh, more than nuclear at 75.9 TWh, and less than half of renewables at 217.8 TWh. [BP Statistical Review 2018]

Germany produced 7.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas in 2016 from fields which will be depleted by the end of the 2020s. Fracking looks unlikely to be approved. Germany imported 4,156 petajoules (PJ) of natural gas in 2016, according to the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA). In 2015, 35% of gas was imported from Russia, 34% from Norway, and 29% from Holland. This is all delivered by pipeline, although some LNG is delivered in the Netherlands and pumped to Germany via pipeline. The European Commission put forward a plan in 2016 to overcome LNG access diaparities and boost the internal energy market.

Russia’s Gazprom exported 193.9 bcm to Europe and Turkey in 2017, a record high despite attempts to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russia. NordStream 2 between Russia and Germany through the North Sea is under construction.

Most consumption in Germany is for heating. This can be reduced by energy efficiency in buildings and industry, and substituting gas heating with renewable electricity. Synthetic gas is also an option.