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27 Oct 2022, 13:12
Jessica Bateman

Gas crisis can be overcome with climate targets in mind – env protection agency

Clean Energy Wire

It is possible to ensure the efficient use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transitional solution in Germany over the coming winter and beyond without losing sight of the climate protection targets, a report with policy recommendations by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) suggests. The recommendations focus on how the country can get through the winter gas crisis, exacerbated by the halt in Russian gas supply to Germany following the Ukraine invasion, while ensuring compliance climate protection targets. Policy recommendations include optimising the use of Europe’s gas pipeline infrastructure; ensuring the hydrogen capability of LNG terminals; and diversifying supplier countries in the most climate friendly way possible.

Additionally, the report’s authors recommend ramping up the use of hydrogen in steel and other industries to secure Germany’s competitiveness; reducing gas and energy consumption through binding sectoral targets; launching targeted energy saving campaigns; and taking “simple” steps to further accelerate the expansion of renewable energies. In the industry sector, there are “major saving potentials” in the context of a more ambitious circular economy, the report says. On a global level, the agency recommends creating global "climate clubs" to avoid fossil fuel lock-ins in developing countries.

Europe has been experiencing extreme energy price hikes this year, caused by strong demand for natural gas during the economic recovery from the pandemic and exacerbated by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Germany in response has returned hard coal and mineral oil-fired power plants from the grid reserve into the market, and allowed certain hard coal plants slated for decommissioning to temporarily reactivate their units and help reduce natural gas consumption. The government also agreed to keep its three remaining nuclear power plants running until April 2023 after Russian gas imports were reduced earlier this year and then cut completely in September.

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