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German power exports soar

April 2, 2013

German electricity exports have climbed to a four-year record in 2012. As the amount of power from renewable sources is rising, power generated in Germany appears to have become more competitive.

Image: DW/A.Becker

In 2012, Germany exported 66.6 terawatt hours (TWh) of electrical power, which was 22.8 TWh more than it had to import from abroad, the German Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) said Tuesday.

Destatis based its figure on data released by the country's four main power grid operators, which showed German power exports were at a four-year high last year.

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Since 2009, when exports stood at 14.4 TWh, demand for German electricity abroad has risen steadily to reach a total volume of 66.6 TWh in 2012, which was worth 3.7 billion euros ($4.7 billion) in current market prices, Destatis said.

Surprisingly, German exports even continued to rise after the country shut down eight of its older nuclear reactors in 2011 as a result of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, in March of that year.

Prior to Fukushima, Berlin had made a government decision to phase out nuclear power altogether by 2022.

According to Destatis, the Netherlands was the biggest importer of German electricity last year, ordering 22.6 TWh. It was followed by Austria and Switzerland which imported 15.9 TWh and 12.7 TWh respectively.

In order to meet peak times of electricity consumption, Germany also imported 43.8 TWh of power, of which 13.2 TWh alone came from nuclear power operators in France.

uhe/hc (AFP, dpa)

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