Energy balance (energy economics)

In the energy balance of energy generation, conversion and use of energy sources are as completely as possible and detailed evidence for an economy or an economic area in a given period. The energy balance provides information on the consumption of energy sources, divided into sectors of their production on the conversion until use in the different areas of consumption. Energy balances serve as a basis for energy and environmental policy, eg for the determination of CO2 emissions as a data base of international UNFCCC.


Energy balances are created for economic areas and businesses to make the effort and benefits, and thus identify potential savings. For this purpose a partition both by energy source as well as according to the consumption places is required.

The parent application is the energy balance in the energy industry in the preparation of a consolidated balance sheet at the country level.

German energy balance


In the Federal Republic of Germany energy statistics will be collected and published by various agencies. In order to obtain a uniform and closed overall balance, the Working Group on Energy Balances ( AGEB ) was founded by the German energy industry associations and economic research institutes

A uniform and closed energy balance for the Federal Republic of Germany was first created in 1971, which in retrospect also covers the period 1950-1969. Since then, annual representations of energy use are in the Federal Republic of Germany. For the years from 1991 to 1994, these balances have been created ( in the area delimitation of 3 October 1990) separately for the new federal states and for Germany as a whole.

As of 2003, the official energy statistics with the Energy Statistics Act ( EnStatG ) was revised. The official energy statistics from different legal bases have been merged and adapted to the broader information needs of users. Statistics are collected and analyzed since then also the areas of thermal market, combined heat and power and renewable energy sources.

Participating Institutions

Members of the Working Group on Energy Balances are four energy trade associations:

  • Federal Association of Energy and Water Industries ( BDEW), Berlin,
  • German lignite industry eV ( DEBRIV ), Cologne,
  • General Association of coal ( GVSt ), Herne,
  • Petroleum Industry e.V. (MWV ), Berlin

And four economic research institutes

  • German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Berlin,
  • EEFA - Energy Environment Forecast Analysis GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin / Muenster,
  • Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI ), Cologne,
  • Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI ), Essen.

The Working Group on Energy Balances is supported by:

  • Federation of Industrial Energy and Power Industry ( VIK ) eV, Essen,
  • Association of Coal Importers e.V., Hamburg.

The compilation of energy balances done since 2003 by the German Institute for Economic Research ( DIW) and EEFA GmbH & Co. KG.

Energy balance in the energy


The scheme of the energy balance comprises a matrix of 33 columns and 68 rows ( including the sum of columns and rows ). In the horizontal layout (columns) the energy sources are reported, which serve the energy and non -energy use. In the vertical layout (lines) generation, conversion and use are recorded for the respective fuels.

As an energy carrier all sources or substances are referred to, in which energy is mechanically, thermally, chemically or physically stored. Five core group can be distinguished in the energy balance:

  • Fossil Fuels
  • Renewable Energy
  • Current
  • Nuclear fuel
  • District heating

Balance levels

The accrual basis balance three areas:

  • The primary energy balance,
  • The conversion balance sheet and
  • Final energy consumption.

In the primary energy balance, energy sources are recorded with their quantity accumulation during the extraction and delivery to the following criteria:

  • Domestic production of energy carriers,
  • Foreign trade in energy, divided by import and export,
  • Marine bunkers ( fuel oil, diesel fuel and lubricants for the national and international shipping in German ports. Excluding deliveries to inland and coastal motor boats and fishing, for transport sector ( final energy consumption ) include. )
  • Changes in inventories, recorded separately for each inventory withdrawals and increases.

Primary energy consumption in Germany is calculated by the production side as the sum of the domestic extraction, from the changes in inventories and the foreign trade balance minus international marine bunkers. The primary energy consumption can be determined by using side as the sum of the final energy consumption, the non-energy consumption, the balance in the conversion balance sheet.

In the conversion balance the physical / chemical conversion of energy is represented as use and emissions. It may also involve the consumption of energy and in the conversion areas as well as the torch - and conduction losses is recognized.

The different energy sources be converted to the single parameter Joule, so that they are comparable and capable of addition. This serves to flammable fuels of lower calorific values ​​(NCV ) expressed in kilojoules. For the other fuels and the foreign trade balance with power there is no standard conversion scale as the calorific value. In these cases, it is also used in the energy balances for Germany from 1995 to the so-called efficiency principle - according to the procedure of international organizations (IEA, Eurostat, ECE).

For nuclear energy, a deemed to be representative of physical efficiency in energy conversion of 33 % is applied. When electricity is generated from hydropower and other renewable energy sources that have no calorific value can be assigned (wind, photovoltaics), the respective energy use is set equal to the calorific value of the generated electric energy. The current foreign trade is also valued on the basis of the heating value of the current, ie, with 3,600 kJ / kWh. This conversion is therefore based on an efficiency of 100 %.

Until 1994 in the energy balances is still the so-called substitution principle has been taken into account, in which it is assumed that the generation of electricity from hydropower, nuclear energy, waste and waste heat as well as an import surplus in the current foreign trade replaced a corresponding electricity generation in conventional thermal power plants, with which the fuel use in these power plants is reduced. For the calculation of the primary energy consumption of the average specific fuel consumption in conventional thermal power plants of the general ( public ) recognized supply.

Compared to the substitution principle but the efficiency principle leads in nuclear energy to a higher, with the other energy sources at a lower primary energy consumption. The breakdown of fuel use on the products electricity and heat in combined heat and power in industry is based on Directive 2004/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004. Initially, the primary energy savings is calculated. Purpose, the reference efficiency of separate production of electricity (40 %) and heat are prescribed (80 % ) according to the specified policy.

As a result, in addition to summary tables and graphical representation that illustrates the flow of energy in the Federal Republic as an overview and as a detailed energy flow diagram arise.

Energy balances in other countries

  • Austria: Statistics Austria provides energy balances for the whole of Austria and individual federal states and sector balance sheets are available.
  • Switzerland: An energy balance is published by the Federal Office of Energy annually as Table 4 in the Swiss overall energy statistics.
  • Liechtenstein: The Statistical Office published a true energy statistics, but without energy balance.