10 Dec 2015, 00:00
Sören Amelang Ruby Russell

Many roads lead to Energiewende - study / A majority for coal exit

Die Zeit

“Don’t be afraid of the Energiewende”

Three scientific academies have found there are various options to bring the Energiewende in the power sector to a successful conclusion, reports Fritz Vorholz on Zeit Online. The experts conclude it would even be possible to get by without electricity superhighways from the North to the South of the country, and also without offshore windparks, if the future power supply is strongly decentralised, according to Vorholz. “The energy supply can be organised without any emissions,” writes Vorholz. According to the experts, it’s relatively easy to totally decarbonise the power sector, as opposed to heating and transport. “There is no reason to be afraid of the Energiewende," Dirk Uwe Sauer from Aachen University, one of the study’s three co-heads, told Vorholz.

Read the article in German here.

Find the study in German here.

Read the CLEW factsheet on Germany’s climate targets here.


Financial Times

"VW reduces number of cars hit by CO2 errors"

The number of VW cars affected by faulty CO2 emissions data is much lower than feared, report Richard Milne and David Oakley in the Financial Times. VW said only 36,000 vehicles are affected rather than the 800,000 it originally suggested. The most important aspect of the VW scandal affects cheating on nitrogen oxides levels.

Find the article in English here.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zietung

“Climate change has a social dimension in Germany, too”

An article by Claudia Hornberg, of the Health Sciences faculty at the University of Bielefeld in the FAZ looks at the health impacts of climate change in Germany. Climate change impacts in Germany tends to be seen in terms of the economy and environment, perhaps because the health impacts seem less severe than in other parts of the world, Hornberg writes. But even in Central Europe, rising temperature lead to longer pollen seasons and the spread of invasive species such as ticks that carry Lyme disease.



“Majority of Germans call for coal exit”

An Emnid survey commissioned by Greenpeace has found 68 percent of the German public support Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks’ call to give up coal in the next 20 to 25 years. Greenpeace is calling for an exit from coal by 2040, and from brown coal by 2030, and for the transition to 100 percent renewables to be completed by 2050.

See Greenpeace’s energy concept for Germany here

See the results of the survey here.



“Can Germany's Energiewende ensure supply security?”

An infographic published by EurActiv with the support of the German Foreign Office says the Energiewende goals of boosting efficiency and the share of renewables both contribute to reducing the country’ dependence on energy imports. The graphic shows that as the share of renewables in the energy mix has risen, the number of power cuts has fallen. “Most renewables are embedded into a decentralised energy system — small and medium-sized power plants located close to the consumers. Such a network infrastructure is more flexible and less vulnerable to power cuts,” the graphic explains.

See the infographic here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on supply security in Germany here.


Saarbrücker Zeitung

“Sharp fall in green energy jobs”

According to a report by the German economy ministry, the number of jobs in the green energy sector fell by 11 percent between 2012 and 2014. Most of the decline was in the solar sector, where jobs fell from 114,000 to less than 50,000 due to the collapse of a manufacturing market, with some additional impact from the reform of the EEG, the article says. Employment in the wind sector meanwhile, rose by 27,000  over the last three years to 150,000. Employment in bio energy fell by 6 percent between 2012 and 2014.

See the article in German here.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zietung

“Decarbonisation of the energy system is not a matter of time”

An article by Manfred Fischedick, Katharina Knoop and Sascha Samadi of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy says that the “climate gap” between measures pledged in Paris to reduce emissions and what is needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees can be closed using available technologies. The Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project looked at scenarios for the transformation of the energy system in 16 different countries, recommending increased energy efficiency, a move to low-carbon energy sources and a shift to greater use of electricity. In the German scenario, carbon-free power generation and a climate-neutral building stock by 2050 were required to meet a target of 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050.

See more on the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project here.


Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

“Negative emissions no silver bullet for climate change mitigation”

MCC scientists have co-authored a paper in Nature Climate Change, finding there is no plan B to reducing climate-harmful emission, the Institute announced in a press release. The future use of negative emissions measures such as planting trees to sequester carbon or carbon capture and storage “should not be interpreted as a fall-back option," the MCC said. 85 percent of the 2-degree-scenarios examined by the IPCC assume the use of technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, the MCC says. But the study found that “there are limits to the different negative emissions technologies – some demanding vast areas of land, some being energy-intensive.”

See the press release here.


Die Zeit

“The climate tricksters”

The law passed last week to extend support for combined heat and power stations (CHP) will cost consumers billions and will hamper climate protection, writes Christian Maaß in weekly Die Zeit. “Utilities have barely any incentive to integrate renewables in long-distance heating. The support for combined heat and power makes heat from these plants cheap. Renewables can’t compete against the subsidised fossil heat,” writes Maaß. “Climate protection demands a good-bye to fossil energies, rather than new subsidies.”

See CLEW’s factsheet on CHP here.


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