[Note: the headline and stats were tweaked after publishing to more accurately reflect the distinction between electricity and overall energy. I originally wrote that renewables made up 20% of all energy, not electricity.]
According to new figures released from Germany’s energy working group, AGEB, energy consumption in the country dropped 4.8% in 2011 from 2010.
German consumption of oil fell 3%, gas by 10.2%, lignite coal by 0.7% (although hard coal rose 3.7%), and nuclear by 22.9%. At the same time, use of renewable energy climbed by 4.1% and represented about 20% of the country’s electricity and 10.8% of total energy in 2011.
An increase in residential and industrial efficiency combined with milder temperatures in 2011 provided the conditions for the decrease in consumption.
So is that increase in renewable energy and efficiency killing the German economy? Analysts expect German GDP growth to be around 3% in 2011, about the same projected for the U.S.