Can Germany meet climate goals via CO2 trading? / Coal exit "legends"
Bloomberg New Energy Finance says Germany could meet its 2020 emissions targets through carbon trading. Buying the right to pollute could allow Germany's domestic coal industry to keep operating, Bloomberg Technology reports, with carbon cuts elsewhere in the world contributing to Germany’s domestic targets. Japan, Norway and the EU already use this route, the article says, but so far Germany has said it wants to achieve the cuts at home. Bloomberg New Energy Finance says it would cost Germany 180 million euros to meet its 2020 target with UN credits created under the Kyoto protocol. “The value of those credits plunged 99 percent since 2008 because only a few countries have committed to use them,” it notes.
See the article in English here.
In an interview with German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, Michael Vassiliadis, head of IG BCE, the German trade union for mining, chemicals and energy industries, says the Green Party’s insistence on a coal exit in the ongoing coalition talks is symbolic, playing into the “legend” that giving up coal will not only secure national climate targets but make a significant contribution to global climate goals. Vassiliadis says operating lifespans mean the last German coal plants will be shut down by the mid-2040s, and emissions from coal fall by 50 percent by 2030, without political intervention. He says the focus on a coal exit supresses a broader discussion looking at transport, building and consumption as whole, as demanded by climate targets.
Read or listen to the interview in German here.
German utility EnBW has announced third quarter results, saying earnings were up and its balance sheet was “significantly stronger”. It says for the first time since 2010, it expects its operating result to rise again in 2017, crediting the consolidation of gas wholesaler and importer VNG, as well as “one-off” positive effects including the sale of wind farm shares and the “elimination of the nuclear fuel rod tax the previous year”, which “compensated for the negative impacts from the shutdown of Block 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant”.
In a press release, CFO Thomas Kusterer said the utility would implement energy efficiency measures a year early, bringing ongoing annual savings of 1.4 billion euros. The company would “continue the strategic reorientation of our company and invest heavily in growth areas such as the Grids and Renewable Energies segments, where we will focus on wind power in particular,” Kusterer said.
EnBW operates onshore wind farms with a total capacity of 450 megawatts, with another 100 megawatts to be added by the end of the year, according to the press release. It says yields from its Baltic 1 and Baltic 2 wind farms were up on the same period last year.
See the press release in English here.
Federal Statistical Office of Germany (Destatis)
The German federal office for statistics (Destatis) has released figures on industrial energy consumption in 2016, revealing that industry consumed 1.4 percent more energy than in the previous year. “Purely energetic use (for example, for electricity and heat generation) increased by 4.9 percent,” Destatis says in a press release.
See the press release in English here.
The Beam / CleanTechnica
A group of green startups and other organisations including CleanTechnica and Berlin-based green energy quarterly The Beam, is calling for German politicians in talks to form the next federal government to look at measures to boost green business in Germany. The Eco Innovation Alliance, formed last month, advocates tax incentives for energy-efficient renovation and power storage, favourable conditions for investment in cleantech companies, reduced subsidies for climate-harmful sectors, and a schedule to phase out the combustion engine, David Wortmann, founder of the communications agency that set up the alliance says in a post on CleanTechnica.
See the post in English here.
Clean Energy Wire
Against the backdrop of the COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Clean Energy Wire invited journalists, journalism and media networks, communication scientists, policymakers and journalism funders to discuss what global energy transition reporting should look like and how to make it happen.
The work of journalists was extremely important in helping people understand “what climate change is about, what the solutions might be, and what the political actors are doing,” German state secretary Jochen Flasbarth told participants in a video message.
The complexity of the topic of climate protection was one of the main challenges that journalists faced, with its various scientific, economic and social layers. While natural disasters like extreme weather events often catch the attention of the media, it is difficult to understand which events are climate change-driven.
With an abundance of information available on a variety of platforms, and a lack of trust in the media, one of the main tasks that journalists have is to qualify existing data, tell fact from fiction, and present the relevant news to the world. “Your work is needed now more than ever,” said Flasbarth.