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03 Mar 2022, 12:42
Edgar Meza

Consumers can do more to reduce dependence on Russian gas – NGO

Clean Energy Wire

German households can help reduce gas consumption by up to 75 percent, according to non-profit consulting company co2online, which campaigns for the reduction of CO2 emissions. By reducing their energy consumption, private households can ensure significantly fewer energy imports from Russia, which supplies more than half of Germany’s natural gas. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced Germany to rethink its energy policy. Co2online calculates that gas consumption in Germany could drop by around 75 percent if the energy efficiency of every second building is optimised. Doing so would save some 14 billion euros a year in heating costs, it adds. “Our gas and oil imports help finance this war and make Germany vulnerable to blackmail,” says co2online managing director Tanja Loitz. “In addition to political leaders, it is also up to us as consumers to change this: We have to get out of our dependencies – not tomorrow, but today – with the exit from fossil fuels and with more energy efficiency.” The current reality, however, remains very different, Loitz adds, noting that more new gas boilers were installed last year in Germany than in the past 25 years.

Greater energy efficiency would also significantly reduce electricity consumption, the NGO notes, stressing that it could potentially save some 10 billion euros and 32 terawatt hours – or 50 percent of electricity generation from natural gas. By saving on heating and electricity, a total of around 73 million tonnes of CO2 could be avoided – about 50 percent of the emissions from Germany’s building stock, the company estimates.

In a similar assessment, Germany’s Wuppertal Institute sustainability research think tank this week called for increased subsidies and legal measures to completely switch the heating supply for the country’s buildings to renewable energy sources by 2035.

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