4. Fewer fuel imports

Germany’s energy supply still largely depends on the import of fossil sources. In order to meet the demand for natural gas and for hard coal, 86 and 81 percent had to be imported respectively in 2012. For its petroleum demand, Germany almost completely relies on imports, as 98 percent of the supply had to be imported in 2012. The demand for uranium has to be fully met by imports. Germany is heavily dependent on relatively few countries with large reserves of natural resources. In 2012, for instance, 37 percent of German crude oil imports came from Russia.

The expansion of renewable energies reduces the dependence on imported raw materials and reduceAEE_Avoided_costs_fuel_imports_due_to_RE_jul13s the risks that accompany fluctuating prices. Thus the expansion of renewables enhances energy security. Renewables have one feature in common: Wind and solar power, biomass, hydropower and geothermal energy are inexhaustible. While fossil fuels and uranium need to be imported, renewable energies are widely and domestically available. While fuel imports are expensive and weaken our economy, renewables are an important driver of economic growth. In 2012, for instance, the import costs for oil and gas, coal and uranium amounted to more than 101 billion Euros. With a share of 12.7 percent of final energy consumption, renewables helped to avoid energy imports worth about 10 billion Euros.