More greenhouse gases

More greenhouse gases

According to the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the main cause of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2016 was transport

The Energy and Climate Weekly: Eurosolar wants more expansion, Federal Environment Agency calls for shutdown of coal-fired power plants, and IRENA believes there will be no economically viable alternative to renewables as early as 2020

So now the SPD federal party conference has voted by the narrowest of margins to start coalition talks, and we can look forward to seeing what comes out of the negotiations in terms of energy and climate policy. The results of the exploratory talks were not particularly ambitious and suggest, among other things, that the already inadequate climate target for 2020 (40 percent less greenhouse gases than in 1990) will not be achieved.

For the first time, however, the three parties involved have spoken of wanting to organize the phase-out of coal. Once again, the details are to be regulated by a commission that is not subject to parliamentary control and in which the industry and the trade unions that suit it will have the say.

Interestingly, however, the environmental groups are keeping quiet, just as there is currently little effort by unions and social movements to use the simmering government crisis to press their demands.

But who knows, perhaps there will still be plenty of opportunity to do so. Somehow it looks like some are striving to catch up with the Belgian record. There got along in 2010 and 2011 541 days without government. In this country, it will be only 128 days today (Wednesday) – the Belgians will probably be laughing.

Airing the expansion cap

Die Liste der Forderungen an die mogliche Koalitionare ist derweil lang. Yesterday, Tuesday, Eurosolar called on the parties involved in, "much more energy policy ambition" to show.

Eurosolar is an association founded in 1988 by, among others, Hermann Scheer, a long-serving member of the Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which is committed to phasing out nuclear power and fossil fuels and building up a decentralized supply of renewable energy sources.

The association considers the target of a 65 percent share of renewables by 2030 proposed in the exploratory paper to be too abstract. With it, only the current trend was perpetuated. Instead, concrete measures had to be taken. For example, the taxation of self-consumption of solar system owners is criticized. The caps on expansion, which limit annual expansion, also had to disappear. The fixation on the tendering system is also criticized.

If there is to be a tendering procedure, then at least a de minimis regulation for small wind farms must be written into the Renewable Energy Sources Act. This means an exception from the obligation to participate in tendering procedures.

Two years ago, the EU Commission’s competition watchdogs granted Germany an exemption for small wind farms of up to 18 megawatts.

Small projects, such as those characteristic of municipal enterprises or citizen projects, could thus be initiated and implemented as before at the local level – according to the levies of state planning. In the last amendment to the EEG, however, no use was made of the approved exception. Since then, only small wind turbines can receive a guaranteed feed-in tariff without having participated in a tendering process.

More greenhouse gases

Meanwhile, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on Tuesday made clear the importance of new impetus in climate protection. In 2016, Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions rose slightly for the second year in a row, according to a UBA press release.

Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions. Gases such as methane and nitrous oxide were converted into carbon dioxide, or so-called CO2 equivalents, according to their lifetime and effectiveness. Image: Federal Environment Agency

The above graph shows that emissions have in principle been stagnating since the end of the last decade at just over 900 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents.

According to UBAS, the energy industry continues to be the largest producer of greenhouse gases. 36 percent of emissions, 332 million metric tons of CO2 were accounted for in 2016. Despite the increasing share of wind, solar Co. emissions fell by only 4.6 million metric tons. This is mainly the result of increasing electricity export.

Germany has so far reduced its emissions by only 27.3 percent compared to 1990. The goal of achieving a 40 percent reduction by 2020 will probably be missed by a wide margin. UBA President Maria Krautzberger is therefore advocating that the "coal-fired power plants to grief".

I also recommend that lignite and hard coal-fired power plants older than 20 years should only be operated at a maximum of 4,000 full-load hours per year.000 full load hours per plant per year. In addition, at least 5 gigawatts of the oldest and most inefficient lignite-fired power plants should be shut down completely.

UBA President Maria Krautzberger

The energy industry also has to meet the 2030 climate protection target "shoulder a large part of the reduction". This can only be achieved if the decommissioning of older or more efficient plants is started quickly. inefficient lignite and hard coal-fired power plants will be started. Otherwise, not only the 2020 target would be missed, but also the others.

Hauptverantwortlich fur den Anstieg der Treibhausgasemissionen in 2016 war nach UBA-Angaben der Verkehr. Mit 166,8 Millionen Tonnen lagen dessen Emissionen wieder uber dem Niveau von 1990. 96 Prozent davon gingen auf das Konto des Strabenverkehrs, der 2016 3,7 Millionen Tonnen CO2 mehr als noch ein Jahr zuvor ausgestoben habe.

Das liege zum einen am Trend zu groberen Autos, zum anderen daran, "that more and more good people are transported on the road". Das UBA pladiert fur strengere Abgasgrenzewerte und fur eine E-Auto-Quote, um die Emissionen zu senken.