Energy supplies

One important aspect of the macroeconomic energy efficiency is the efficiency of the electricity generation. A cross-section of the efficiency of conventional power plants based on fossil fuels for selected European countries reveals a greater average efficiency in the western European industrial countries than in the newest EU Member States in eastern Europe. As a leading industrial country with a relatively good macroeconomic energy efficiency, Germany is located in the middle in this comparison. It should be noted in this respect that the average efficiency provides little indication as to the actual degree of modernisation of the power plant fleet in the individual countries. For example, the different power plant types also have different efficiencies in accordance with the type of fuel used. With gas-fired power plants, this is generally considerably higher than with power plants that use coal to generate electricity. Countries that use a greater proportion of gas to generate electricity, such as Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy, also have a higher average efficiency in their (conventional) power plant fleet. Because Germany’s electricity generation is largely based on using black coal and lignite, its average efficiency cannot reach a peak value.