Fracking in Germany

Germany is an important industrialized and developing country. It is considered as the leader in Europe and its energy consumption is very important.

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In the centre of Europe, Germany is a rich and attractive country. Unemployment is down and the German economy is the highest in Europe, the fourth in the World. Despite that, the population declines year after year and the deficit of births could slow economic progress

Energy situation

Every year coal mines continue to grow and natural landscapes are cleaned

Germany is an energy paradox because this country is the European leader of green energy, with 25% of its electricity generated from renewables.  Its energy transition started in 2000. After the Fukushima disaster, the state announced its intention to phase out the use of nuclear energy by 2022.  However, at the same time, Germany produces a huge quantity of coal, one of the highest carbon emitters, and new mines continue to open.

Shale Gas situation

The shale gas estimation in Germany is very important, particularly in the Northwest and in 2008 the company ExxonMobil were authorised to drill their first well in this area. Results were good but the anti-fracking movement is very strong and has influenced policy.


In 2011, the Government decided not toward permission to drill a test well with fracking before new studies were completed because the anti-fracking sentiment is too important in Germany. After some studies had different conclusions about the safety of fracking, in April 2015 the Government proposed a bill to regulate fracking with prohibited areas and prohibition in depths about 3,000 metres. But this text wasn’t welcome in Parliament because deputies found it too strict or too light.

The water brought in is mixed with sand and chemicals to create fracking fluid


An important fracking Study in Germany was published by the Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources in January 2016 and it considers fracking compatible with water resources. Also, the estimation of shale gas is very high. Since June 2015, the parliamentary coalition hasn’t debated the issue but anti-fracking deputies continue to propose a text to ban hydraulic fracturing.

In June 2016, the German Parliament voted a Moratorium for five years but this text allows four test drills for scientific purposes.

2016 and 2017 events summary

Apr. 28, 2016: Motion to adopt an outright fracking ban fails to secure majority

Compact press release:

Jun. 24, 2016: Regulatory package adopted by the government
Regulations consist of a moratorium on ’unconventional fracking’ (shale gas and coal bed methane) until 2021 but permit four exploratory drilling research projects, as well as fracking in sandstone and tight gas fracking.

Umweltinstitut München e.V. press release:

Feb. 10, 2017: Fracking legislative package enters into force
Food & Water Europe press release:

A petition calling for a ban: