Electricity and Heating in Germany

Electricity and Heating in Germany
Russia-Ukraine war spells doom for energy supplies to Europe

Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out a couple of months ago, any keen person must have read about how the war affected supply of natural gas to Germany. If there is anything that has worried Europe in general and Germany specifically, it is Russia cutting gas supply. This tells you how important the energy supply for heating homes and electricity in Germany is. A new person just arriving in Germany may not just wish to entertain the thoughts of having to put up with cold winters without regular or reliable heat supply. It’s a serious issue and bet you me, it is the single most thing that keeps German politicians scratching their heads bald currently. 

Enough of the Russia-Germany-Ukraine talk…lets now talk to someone who is coming to Germany for the first time and planning for a longer stay. You need to rent an apartment maybe in Berlin, Hamburg of whichever city of choice in Germany. When renting that apartment, its likely that the design, cuteness and location will reign high in convincing anyone to take it. But, remember to always check on the heating system used and maybe research about the heating supplier. If lucky to be meeting a fiancée in Germany then he already has heating in the house.

The outlook of Germany for Newcomers

When you think about Germany, what is it that quickly crosses your mind? Of course, you want to juggle around German culture and traditions, mingle with the band maybe some other things that Germans are popular for. But being a first timer or not, Germany still remains to be among the most interesting and lovable places globally.

Other than the beauty that you will have to experience in Germany, one important factor remains to be necessary. A comfort factor exhibiting from the condition in your home is surely one key element to consider. Whether you are here for just a few days or staying for the longest time, you would need a home with adequate heating and lighting.

But there is o any cause of alarm as German homes have the best heating and lighting to keep you comfortable. Maybe you just want to sit around your home to enjoy watching some beautiful soccer, a movie, feel warm, or even keep yourself fit by being able to access your treadmill. All that must work out if your home has access to electricity and heating. 

First, in this letter, I will try as much as possible to dig into the source of all the heating and electricity in Germany. But as commonly known to as, all these forms part of energy and are both in the German energy sector.

Energy supply in Germany 

The better part of energy in Germany is from fossil fuel then the other percentage is generated from other sources. The other sources of energy are from wind, hydro power, solar, nuclear power, and biomass. In 2020, Germany ranked fourth globally by nominal GDP. But would you expect a large and developed economy like Germany?

Globally, I can attest from a better quality from my sources that Germany is number seven in terms of global primary energy consumption. With a primary energy consumption at 12,193 and most of this coming from fossils, renewables contribute 16.1%, and 6.2% from nuclear energy. 

Germany has a common key towards its energy policies and politics. The key revolves around the phrase “Energiewende”. In English it means energy turnaround or simply energy transformation. The main agenda of the German energy policy is to ensure that by the end of this year, nuclear power is totally phased out. In addition, fossil fuels should also be progressively replaced by renewable energy sources.

From other sources however, it is declared that Germany is also heavily dependent on Russian energy. Germany imports close to half of natural gas, half of coal, and a third of heating oil from Russia. It is based on such a heavy reliance of Germany to Russia that it watered down the EU 2022 proposal to cut down energy imports from Russia. This was associated with the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

How Heating Takes Place in German Homes

Most of the EU states are often cold, but this happens mostly during winter. Winter in Germany requires a necessary preparation which will not only include yourself, but also your car and home. Most homes in Germany are mainly operating from a central heating point.

What it means is that most homes in Germany have a central heating point which can either be from the basement of a home. This heat is then distributed to the radiators of each apartment or room through a network of pipes. All that is required from you is to control the heating in your apartment by making adjustments of your thermostat or simply the radiator. 

Electricity and Heating in Germany
A typical house heater fitted in a house in Germany

Your thermostat or radiator is mainly numbered from zero to five to help you regulate on your desired temperature. This is a very important point to note as it may get all confusing to a newcomer. But having central heating should be a top priority in your list when looking for a home in Germany.

There are however, a few German homes with electric heating or a stove heating. Nonetheless, plan to have a heating source for your home since winter is such a long time in Germany. Both of the heating sources are pretty expensive, inefficient and really time consuming so, it would be best if you get a connection from a central heating.

Electricity Sourcing, transmission, and Consumption in Germany 

Germany’s source of electricity is from nuclear, brown and hard coal, natural gas, solar, wind, biomass, hydro power, oil and other sources. The electrical grid forms a part of the synchronous grid of continental Europe. 2020, was the year that saw Germany produce 484 TWh of electricity and most of this was from renewable energy sources constituting 50%. Coal contributed 24% of the production, and natural gas 12%.

2020 still remains to be the very first year that renewable sources of electricity stood out to represent 50% of the total electricity production. It records a huge change from 2018 when most of the production was associated with coal.

Despite an increase in renewables production from the past years to 2017, the fossil power source remained at a constant level. But during this period, the nuclear power electric production decreased based on the phase-out-plan. Much of the space was then filled by renewables.

German electricity prices in 2020 stood at €31.47/KWh for residential customers and €17.8/KWh for non-residential customers. But the German businesses and households pay the highest electricity price for a very long time. This is due to the fact that they are the highest consumers of electricity in Germany.

Current heating and Electricity Developments in Germany

Many Germans have presently continued to receive unpleasant mails as utility companies are rolling over the utility costs of gas to consumers. It is no secret that heating for most German homes come from gas. A good number of residents are straining to cover this heating cost. The gas prices seem to have doubled from the cost in the previous years.

There is also a perceived shortage in gas from the Russia invasion of Ukraine. What is currently happening is that most consumers are flocking the shops to buy electric heaters. However, experts warn that this could cause power supply security problems as the majority of households highly depend on gas. A sudden surge from the shift to electric heating is a threat to the stability of the national grid.