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German H1 primary energy use up 4% as gas gains, power drops

Highlights

Germany's total primary energy consumption in the first half of the year was 7,177 petajoules (1,994 TWh), up 4% from the same period a year ago, as the long winter boosted natural gas demand by more than 10%, research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB) said Monday.

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Gas consumption in the first half of 2013 was 547.8 TWh, German utility group BDEW, which contributes to the AGEB statistics, said Friday.

Demand for mineral oil, still Germany's biggest single source of primary energy, rose 2.7%, mainly driven by light heating oil due to lower than usual temperatures in the first half of 2013, AGEB said.

ELECTRICITY DEMAND DROPS 1.6% DESPITE JUMP IN COAL USAGE


Electricity demand, by contrast, declined 1.6% during to the first half of 2013 to 260.1 TWh, according to the BDEW's latest estimates.

In electricity related energy usage, hard coal registered the biggest increase, up 6% compared to the first half on 2012 in terms of primary energy usage with hard-coal usage in power plants up 8.5%, the AGEB statement said. Nuclear energy usage rose 1.2% in the first half, while renewables increased their share in primary energy usage by 3.8%, AGEB said.

Lignite use was down 1.6% for the period, mainly due to the retirement of older power plants, although power output from lignite-fired power plants increased by 1% as more efficient plants use less lignite for the same electricity output, it added.

Overall, Germany's coal-fired power plants (including lignite) contributed more than 50% to the nation's electricity demand in the first half of this year as output from natural gas-fired power plants and wind turbines dropped, according to an analysis of data that German think-tank Fraunhofer Institute collected.

Hard coal and lignite-fired power plants increased production by about 5%, or 6 TWh, to 130.3 TWh in the first six months of 2013, the data shows.

--Andreas Franke, andreas_franke@platts.com
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, alisdair.bowles@platts.com