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26 Jul 2022, 11:23
Sören Amelang

Germany’s LNG import plans put climate targets at risk – Greenpeace

Gas

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s plans for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace Russian supplies exceed requirements and put the country’s and European climate targets at risk, argues a report commissioned by Greenpeace. “The currently planned import capacities significantly surpass previous Russian gas deliveries and would lead to a long-term dependence on climate-damaging gas,” Greenpeace said. The environmental NGO said a few floating LNG terminals would be sufficient, and warned that fear of a Russian supply cut must not turn into a gateway for the “next fossil dependence.” Instead of creating additional climate-damaging infrastructures, the government should focus on cutting consumption, installing heat pumps, insulating buildings, as well as industry decarbonisation. “The extensive investments in LNG terminals and offtake contracts until the 2040s create a long-term dependence on climate-damaging natural gas. Germany would thus become one of the world's largest importers of LNG,” Greenpeace warned.

Germany plans to build several LNG terminals to import the fuel as part of its efforts to secure supply. Some of these will be floating terminals – essentially ships that are being leased and dock at ports to re-gassify the fuel and feed it into the grid. Greenpeace criticised that current legislation would allow for up to twelve import terminals. Other NGOs have also warned of “gigantic overcapacities.” However, so far only five floating and one land-based terminal have been announced by the government.

The Greenpeace report by consultancy EnergyComment warned that current LNG import plans will make Europe dependent on Qatar and the U.S., because these are the only countries who can significantly increase export volumes in the short term. It also says the terminals cannot be easily converted for future hydrogen imports, because this would require extensive investments.

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