In the media: CO2 targets in doubt; gas as storage
The development of renewable energies is fast-paced in Germany but that is no reason for euphoria, writes Jürgen Flauger in the Handelsblatt. Germany will miss its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 percent in 2050 over 1990, according to the Energiewende-Outlook, a study by consultancy PwC which will be published at the Handelsblatt Energy Conference this week. Instead, only a 50 percent CO2 reduction will be achieved, the study’s scenarios suggests. Norbert Schwieters, one of the authors at PwC told the Handelsblatt that particularly in the heating and transport sector more needed to be done, for example by increasing combined heat and power generation and the insulation of houses.
See the PwC Energiewende-Outlook website in German here.
Study – Renewable Energies Agency
“Grid expansion and international power exchange prevent need for storage”
A meta-study by the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE) has found that storage facilities, for example power-to-gas technologies, will not be needed until the German power system is faced with a large electricity surplus that would occur at a 60-80 percent share of renewables in the power mix. Expanding the power grid and increasing load balancing through international cooperation would be cost-efficient ways to make the power system more flexible, Philipp Vohrer, Managing Director of AEE said. Most of the studies analysed by AEE assume that only the power-to-gas technology will have enough capacity to store power for longer periods and that it would offer the most flexibility as it can be used for transport, heating and power generation.
Survey – IW Köln
“Weak growth in the long run”
German businesses invest less than they could, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln), a research facility financed by business and employer associations, said today. According to a survey undertaken by the institute, most companies name the insecurity of the global economy as the main reason for their reluctance to invest at home, followed by the economic policies of Germany’s government and high energy costs. IW director Michael Hüther therefore advises the government to lower burdens on companies, like the renewable energy surcharge on power.
“Public procurement: With utmost care”
The Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Sustainable Development (PBnE) wants German government institutions to improve sustainability efforts in public procurement, according to a paper obtained by Der Tagesspiegel. The paper describes how difficult it has been to introduce such measures, despite previous legislation, Der Tagesspiegel says. It took three years – from 2007 until 2010 - for the government to decide on measures that would enable procurement of products with only the highest efficiency grade, writes Dagmar Dehmer. In early January, the government cabinet decided on a reform of the procurement law, with further measures for improving sustainability to be enacted into law by 2016, she writes. The government is aiming for better efficiency in particular in the areas of electric equipment, its vehicle fleet and in building renovation, the newspaper says. It wants to reduce CO2 emissions of it vehicle fleet to less than 50 grams of CO2 per kilometre, and the first 20% of the fleet should meet this standard by 2015, according to the article.
Read the article in German here.
“How the Energiewende can be a success”
Renewable energy continues to gain market share, with around a quarter of all electricity generated from wind, sun and other kinds of renewables already, writes Olaf Preuß in the Hamburger Abendblatt. Schleswig-Holstein is a major producer of wind energy and would like to export the energy that can’t be fed into the grid, using new power lines under construction to carry windpower from the North Sea to the south, he says. Those lines are not due to be completed for several years, however. Currently, around 6000 megawatts of power from renewables are being produced in Schleswig-Holstein, and around 9000 megawatts are expected by 2020, while the state actually only uses around 1500 megawatts, Preuß writes. Finding ways to use and store this power are urgently needed, the paper says.
Read the article in German here.