Photo: Flickr.com / Junep A CC BY
Germany must exit coal quickly
A study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology posits that Germany can still meet its 2020 emissions reduction target.
This summer’s heatwave showed that Germany must exit coal quickly, according to Greenpeace Germany. On 8 August, 10 Greenpeace activists ascended a glacier on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, to unfold a banner saying “Summer 2018: heat, drought, glacial melting – Start coal exit now!” Greenpeace spokesperson Thilo Maack said the extreme weather events correspond to global warming forecasts. “We are in the midst of the climate crisis and it will get increasingly worse. The rapid speed of climate change stands in sharp contrast to the snail’s pace of policy. Germany must urgently shut down the first lignite plants, which are particularly harmful. In 2030, the last coal-fired plant must be off the grid.” A Greenpeace-commissioned study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology posits that Germany can still meet its 2020 emissions reduction target, provided that several brown-coal-fired power plants are immediately retired and others are throttled back. “Germany can achieve its promised 40-per-cent greenhouse gas emissions reduction while ensuring its energy supply. The technical possibilities aren’t lacking – only the political will,” Anike Peters, Greenpeace energy expert, said.
The German government announced in June that it would widely miss its target of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2020 relative to 1990 levels. The Fraunhofer study developed two scenarios in which Germany could meet the aforementioned target. If the much-anticipated special auctions for renewable energies are held, 6.1 gigawatts of lignite-fired power would need to be taken off the grid immediately; if they are further delayed or not held at all, 7.4 gigawatts would have to be retired, the study says. Greenpeace calls for a complete phase-out of hard coal and brown coal by 2030 at the latest.
Source: Clean Energy Wire