Final energy

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Final energy is the part of the primary energy remaining after energy conversion and transmission losses that has passed through the house connection of the energy user, whereby the energy users include not only private households but also the sector of commerce, trade, services (tertiary sector), industry and transport. Final energy can exist as a primary energy carrier (e.g. natural gas) or it can have been converted into a secondary form of energy . For example, the chemical energy of coal is converted into electrical energy in power plants and provided as electrical power, or crude oil (petroleum) is converted into fuel in refineries. Since part of the energy is lost during the conversion (or converted into forms of energy that can no longer be used in a more physically correct manner), the total of the final energy requirement is lower than the total of the primary energy requirement . The primary energy requirement also includes all conversion and transmission losses. In energy balances , both primary and final energy requirements are usually shown.

Even with the end user, energy is often converted into useful energy to provide an energy service. This utilization means, for example, the conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy to drive devices or the conversion of the chemical energy of fuels into heat. If the losses of this conversion stage are subtracted from the final energy requirement, the result is called the useful energy requirement .

Final energy demand

Since some of the primary energy carriers are first converted into secondary energy carriers (e.g. electricity or fuels), the breakdown of the final energy requirement by energy carrier differs considerably from that of the primary energy requirement.


According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the total final energy requirement in 2011 was 3,691  Mtoe , corresponding to 363.3  exajoules (EJ). The individual energy sources accounted for:

Shares in the world's final energy demand
Energy source proportion of
oil 41.2%
natural gas 15.2%
Biomass and waste 12.7%
Electrical current 17.7%
Coal, peat 9.8%
Others (includes geothermal, solar, wind, heat, etc.) 3.4%


Transport has the largest share of final energy consumption in Germany. Households consume roughly the same as the other mining and manufacturing sector .

Final energy consumption by sector in 2011
sector absolute in PJ relative
Other mining and manufacturing industries 2,634 29.7%
traffic 2,568 28.9%
households 2,333 26.3%
Commerce, trade, services (including the military) 1,346 15.2%
All in all 8,881 100.0%

The most important final energy sources are mineral oil products, followed by gases and electricity. In contrast to primary energy consumption, coal does not play a major role in final energy consumption. Renewable energy sources and biomass in particular are of growing importance.

Final energy consumption by energy source in 2011
Energy source absolute in PJ relative
Coals 481 5.4%
Petroleum products 3,239 36.5%
Gases 2,208 24.9%
Other non-renewable 101 1.1%
Biomass and other renewables 557 6.3%
Electrical current 1,876 21.1%
District heating 420 4.7%
All in all 8,881 100.0%


Petroleum products cover more than half of Switzerland's final energy consumption. The petroleum products are therefore more important in Switzerland than in Germany; with natural gas it is exactly the opposite. About a quarter of the final energy requirement is covered by electricity.

Final energy consumption by energy source in 2011
Energy source absolute in PJ relative
Coal and coke 6.0 0.7%
Garbage and industrial waste 10.1 1.2%
Petroleum products 457.5 53.7%
gas 103.7 12.2%
Wood and charcoal 33.7 4.0%
Biofuels and biogas 2.1 0.2%
Sun and environmental heat 12.5 1.5%
Electrical current 211.0 24.8%
District heating 15.9 1.9%
All in all 852.3 100.0%

More specific definitions

Final energy from buildings in terms of the Energy Saving Ordinance

The values ​​specified in the EnEV energy pass for the primary and final energy requirements of buildings contain non- renewable energy that is "generated in the immediate spatial context of the building [...]" (e.g. heat from a solar collector).

Gross final energy demand

In the Renewable Energy Sources Directive (Directive 2009/28 / EC), a gross final energy requirement was defined in Article 2 point f:

“Energy products that are supplied to industry, the transport sector, households, the service sector, including the public service sector, as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing for energy purposes, including the electricity and heat generated by the energy industry for the generation of electricity and heat Heat consumption and including electricity and heat losses during distribution and transmission [.] "

In contrast to the classically defined final energy consumption, the gross final energy consumption also includes part of the losses in generation and transport.


Individual evidence

  1. a b IEA: Key World Energy Statistics 2012 (PDF; 6.1 MB), accessed on September 14, 2013.
  2. Conversion with Wolfram | Alpha , accessed on September 14, 2013.
  3. a b Evaluation tables for the energy balance for the Federal Republic of Germany 1990 to 2012 ( memento of the original from March 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , As of July 2013, last accessed on September 14, 2013.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Energy statistics in Switzerland from 1910, final energy consumption , Excel file, last accessed on September 15, 2013.
  5. DIRECTIVE 2009/28 / EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of April 23, 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and the amendment and subsequent repeal of Directives 2001/77 / EC and 2003/30 / EC (PDF; 1 , 3 MiB)