Not enough energy is generated in the FrankfurtRhineMain area to cover demand. More than half of the required electricity must be imported from other regions in Hesse or Germany. The rest is produced locally: in fossil power plants, waste incineration and from renewable energies. Overall, the share of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas in locally generated electricity is more than two thirds (78 percent). In heat generation, the figure is 72 percent.
More than half of the electricity is imported
To cover the entire regional energy demand in 2018, 61.7 percent of the electricity had to be imported. That is around 11 terawatt hours per year (TWh/a). Most municipalities import the majority of their required electricity. Only a few member municipalities have sufficient local capacity to cover a large part of their electricity consumption. These include Frankfurt, Rüsselsheim, Offenbach and Großkrotzenburg with their fossil fuel power plants. Schöneck, Karben, Friedberg, Weilrod, Nidderau and Florstadt cover larger parts of their own electricity consumption with wind energy. Flörsheim am Main can cover its own electricity consumption with the biomass power plant and the Wicker landfill and biogas plant.
Share of fossil energy is largest
In 2018, 38.8 percent of total electricity demand was produced in the region - about 6.7 terawatt hours per year (TWh/a). Most of this electricity demand was met by fossil-fuel power plants (77.6 percent or ≈ 5 TWh/a). Renewables accounted for 13 percent (≈ 0.9 TWh/a) and waste incineration for 9.4 percent (0.6 TWh/a) of electricity consumption.
Comparison with federal electricity mix: share of renewables lower than national average
In 2018, fossil fuels accounted for 77.6 percent of the local electricity mix in the region. In comparison, only about half of the electricity (49.2 percent) was generated by fossil energy sources in Germany. Nuclear energy still has a share of 11.8 percent in the federal electricity mix, but plays no role in the region. With 9.4 percent the share of energy generated by waste is much higher in the region than the national average of 1 percent. With 13.0 percent, the share of renewable energies in the region remains far below the national average of 35.1 percent.
Electricity generation from renewable energies - Biomass is the most important energy source
In 2018, local electricity generation from renewable energies covered 885 gigawatt hours (GWh), or around 13.0 percent of the region's electricity consumption. At 38.5 percent (≈ 341 GWh/a), electricity generation from biomass accounted for the largest share, followed by photovoltaics with 31.0 percent (≈ 274 GWh/a) and hydropower with 13.6 percent (≈ 121 GWh/a). About 10.7 percent (≈ 95 GWh/a) was generated from wind power. At 6.2 percent (≈ 55 GWh/a), sewage and landfill gas had the lowest share of local electricity generation from renewable energies.
Development of electricity generation from renewable energies (2001 to 2018)
Electricity generation from renewable energies almost doubled between 2010 and 2018 from around 587 GWh per year by around 51 percent to around 885 GWh. Photovoltaic energy production increaseed particularly strong - by around 157 percent (from 107 GWh to 275 GWh). Electricity generation from wind had more than doubled in the same period (from 42 GWh to 95 GWh).
Heat generation almost entirely from fossil fuels
Heat consumption in the region amounted to around 26 TWh in 2018. Of this, 28.6 percent (≈ 7.5 TWh/a) was generated by local energy plants. The remaining 71.4 percent (≈ 18.8 TWh/a) was presumably covered by fossil domestic fuel. Data on energy production from fossil domestic fuels are difficult to access and could only be collected in individual cases. Fossil domestic fuel is the generation of heat by burning energy sources such as gas and oil in building heating systems. Heat is usually produced on site, as the losses are very high if there is a long distance between production and consumption, and only little heat reaches the consumers. It can therefore be assumed that the amount of heat produced by fossil fuel is the difference between heat demand and collected heat production.
Non-renewable technologies played the leading role in local heat generation (excluding heat from electricity) with 72.2 percent (≈ 5 TWh/a). Around 18.3 percent of local heat generation was produced by waste incineration (≈ 1.4 TWh/a) and 9.5 percent (≈ 0.7 TWh/a) by renewables.
Heat generation by renewable energies - biomass plays the main role
About 9.5 percent of heat in the region was generated by renewable energy in 2018. This corresponds to 716 GWh/a. Of this, the majority, 65.1 percent (≈ 464 GWh/a), was biomass - subdivided into biomass (13.5 percent) and biogas (51.6 percent). This includes wood and residual materials for private households, such as pellets. Biomass and biogas were thus the most significant energy sources in the region for both electricity and heat generation from renewable sources. Heat pumps and shallow geothermal generated 21.9 percent (≈ 157 GWh/a) of local renewable heat. Solar thermal energy accounted for 8.7 percent (≈ 63 GWh/a), and sewage and landfill gas accounted for 3.3 percent (≈ 23 GWh/a). About 0.9 percent (≈ 6 GWh/a) of the local renewable heat was generated by thermal springs.
Heat generation from renewable energies (2001 to 2018)
Like electricity generation from renewable energies, heat generation from renewable sources also increased from 2001 to 2018. Compared to 2010, local heat production from renewable energies increased by about 16 procent (from 616 GWh/a to 728 GWh/a). The increase was strongest for solar thermal energy, with about 26 percent (from 50 GWh/a to 63 GWh/a), and heat pumps / shallow geothermal energy, with about 22 percent (from 129 GWh/a to 157 GWh/a). The share of solid biomass and biogas increased by about 15 percent over the same period (from 404 GWh/a to 464 GWh/a).
Data basis for electricity and heat generation
The information on electricity and heat generation in the region has been compiled from the Municipal Energy Profile for the Regional Authority FrankfurtRheinMain (status 2018). You can find the profile as well as detailed data on the individual member municipalities and administrative districts under Municipal Energy Profiles. When calculating the energy profiles, we are dependent on the availability of various third-party data, some of which are published with a delay of several years.