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14 Jul 2020, 14:31
David Reay

Germany’s use of renewables in transport failed to rise in 2019 - study

Clean Energy Wire

The share of renewable energies used in Germany’s transport sector stagnated at 5.6% in 2019, a study by the Agency for Renewable Energies (AEE) shows. CO2 emissions increased, rising by more than one million tonnes, the AEE found. "Transport is and remains the problem child in climate protection. The trend has been pointing in the wrong direction for years,” said managing director Dr. Robert Brandt.

Biofuels, namely biodiesel, bioethanol and biogas, accounted for the great majority of renewables used in transport (85.9%), with electricity from renewable sources making up the rest. The AEE estimates that the use of biofuels saved 7.8 million tonnes of CO2 in Germany in 2019. “Even in the future, electromobility and hydrogen alone will not be enough to reduce CO2 emissions in transport quickly and sustainably,” said Brandt. “Biofuels will continue to be needed.” He calls for strong promotion of “traffic avoidance and modal shift” to ensure renewables have a greater impact on transport.

The EU has set a target of 10% renewable energy use in the transport sector by 2020, and 14% by 2030. The average in 2018 was 8.3%, well above Germany’s latest figure. And while total CO2 emissions in the country fell by 6.4% in 2019 compared to 2018, the AEE figures show they rose by 1% in the transport sector. The sector is under great pressure to clean up its act and the government has set tough targets. Industry associations have agreed that climate targets cannot be reached without biofuels and electricity-based fuels.

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