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The Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt have published their Monitoring Report 2023. It presents a variety of key figures.
The report primarily summarises the developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2022 but also includes relevant developments from 2023.
Structure of the electricity generation market
The tightening of natural gas supply caused by the cessation of imports from Russia and the resulting higher gas prices on the wholesale markets led to a decline in the amount of electricity generated from gas of about 14%. The temporary return of coal power stations to the market to prevent supply shortages led to more electricity being produced from lignite and hard coal. Just over 5% more electricity was generated by lignite power stations, while there was an around 14% year-on-year increase in electricity from hard coal-fired power plants. Germany's total net electricity generation was slighter lower in 2022 due to the drop in consumption.
The lack of deliveries from Russia from early September 2022 onwards was made up for with additional imports. The most important sources of imported gas in Germany in 2022 were Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium, with a total volume of 983 TWh or about 68% of all imports to the country. Germany's first floating LNG terminal started operation in Wilhelmshaven in December 2022. It was joined by two more such terminals in Lubmin and Brunsbüttel in January and March 2023.
Developments in the renewable energy sector
Strong growth in wind and photovoltaic installations, along with a very sunny 2022, led to an increase in generation from renewable energy sources of about 8%. The proportion of gross electricity consumption from renewables rose to 45% from 40% in 2021.
The continuing growth in renewable generation together with delays in network expansion led to network congestion, which had to be remedied with redispatch measures. Nevertheless, around 97% of the renewable electricity generated was successfully transported to consumers.
Electricity and gas wholesale trading
Major fluctuation on the wholesale electricity and gas markets was a defining feature of 2022. Wholesale – and therefore also retail – prices reached new highs. Even though wholesale prices eased and stabilised around the end of 2022 and in the first quarter of 2023, price levels are still higher than before Russia's war on Ukraine and the start of the energy crisis.
Retail markets for electricity and gas
The impact of Russia's invasion of Ukraine was still evident in wholesale and retail prices at the beginning of 2023. As at 1 April 2023, electricity and gas prices for household customers were up significantly again compared with the previous year. The rise in retail electricity and gas prices was primarily due to the much higher costs of procuring energy.
Number of supplier switches lower
The developments of 2022 had a noticeable effect on consumers' switching behaviour. The number of household electricity customers changing supplier dropped considerably in 2022, by about 16% to just over four million. The number of household gas customers changing supplier fell by about a third to 1.15mn from 1.64mn.
Fewer electricity and gas disconnections
Fortunately, the higher electricity and gas prices were not reflected in the disconnection figures for 2022. Disconnections of electricity supply were down just over 11% year-on-year to about 209,000 in 2022. Disconnections in the gas sector fell by about 15%. In 2022 there were a total of around 23,000 disconnections reported.
Many more figures and explanations may be found in the latest edition of the report (in German) here.