Germany Opens Another New Coal Plant
By Paul Homewood
h/t Green Sand
From the GWPF:
On Thursday in the Hamburg suburb of Moorburg, Hamburg’s mayor Olaf Scholz, a leading figure in Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), stood alongside Magnus Hall, president of Swedish energy utility Vattenfall, and pushed a big button.
The button-pushing symbolized Vattenfall’s ceremonial opening of a 1,600 Megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant that had been under construction for eight years – despite heated opposition from Germany’s greens, who want the country to exit from coal altogether.
One day earlier, in London, the UK government had announced a ten-year plan to close down all remaining coal-fired power stations in Britain. At the very same time as UK politicians were basking in the resulting applause, Scholz’s fellow Social Democrat, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of the SPD and the country’s minister of economy and energy, sat in a Berlin conference room absorbing some bad news.
An independent commission of senior energy experts advising his ministry explained to him on Wednesday that Germany was on track to miss – rather badly – the carbon emissions goals the government had set for the country to meet by 2020.
According to Amber Rudd, it cannot be satisfactory for an advanced economy like the UK to be relying on polluting, carbon intensive 50-year-old coal-fired power stations. This is not the future.
But apparently it’s good enough for an advanced economy like Germany!
The Deutsche Welle report continues:
But the central target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020 was “seriously in danger,” according to Andreas Löschel, director of the four-person expert commission, as it presented its fourth annual monitoring report on Germany’s Energiewende (energy transition).
“The tempo of total carbon emissions reductions achieved each year needs to be roughly tripled” in order to meet the government’s 2020 target, Löschel told DW, saying the annual emissions reduction rate in recent years has been 9 million tons of CO2 per annum, but needed to be 27 million tons.
“The German government introduced a couple of new emissions reductions programs recently, including a national action plan for energy efficiency, but the programs haven’t been implemented yet and it’s too early to say whether they’ll be enough to close that gap,” Löschel said. The commision’s report detailed some reasons to suspect not.
One of the biggest problems the commission found was that energy use in the German transport sector had continued to increase – it was 1.7 percent higher in 2014 than in 2005. Another was slower-than-planned progress in improving energy efficiency, especially in the housing sector, where too little was being done to improve insulation.
Figures from the UNFCC support these claims. Although GHG emissions are 25% below 1990 levels, reductions have more or less stalled since 2006. Indeed most of the fall occurred in the 1990’s as a result of the closure of much of the old East German heavy industry, long before anybody was bothered about global warming.
The above figures, which cover all GHG, only go to 2012. However, CDIAC confirm that emissions of CO2 actually increased in 2013.