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16 Nov 2021, 13:50
Edgar Meza

Continued use of conventional technologies will significantly increase costs of energy transition - report

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s revamped climate neutrality target, which the Bundestag brought forward to 2045 earlier this year, can still be achieved but along different paths and at different costs, according to a new report by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE. In the paper, "Pathways to a Climate-Neutral Energy System", the researchers worked with an energy system model and four scenarios to analyse the effects of societal trends on achieving the climate targets. The Fraunhofer ISE set the new stringent interim targets of minus 65 percent CO2 by 2030, minus 88 percent CO2 by 2040 and greenhouse gas neutrality for energy-related emissions by 2045 as boundary conditions in an energy system model. An accelerated switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy for electricity generation is required, along with climate protection legislation, for the energy system transition, the report found. Also necessary is an increase in the import volumes of synthetic energy carriers to 1000 TWh. The continued operation of conventional technologies, such as fossil fuel-powered heating and transport, will significantly increase the additional costs of the transformation, it found. Societal behavior has a significant influence on the expenditures for the energy transition, said Christoph Kost, group leader of Energy Systems and Energy Economics at Fraunhofer ISE.

The findings echo those of other recent reports, including a study by the German Energy Agency (dena) that determined that enormous tasks would have to be initiated as quickly as possible for Germany to reach its 2045 target. Similarly, the government-supported Ariadne project concluded that the planned emission reductions could only be reached if electricity production from wind and solar sources were quickly tripled; coal phased out by 2030; and twice as many homes renovated to become energy efficient.

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