EU Doubling Down on Net-zero

EU Doubling Down on Net-zero

Initial communications indicate that the EU, and especially Germany, will double down on their efforts to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050, in-spite of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.

Here is a quotation from a February 22 article from Clean Energy Wire (CLEW), two days prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but immediately following Germany’s closing of Nord Stream 2: 

“The decision [to close NS2] intensified calls … to speed up the move to renewables to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports. 

On March 2, after the Russian invasion, Germany’s economy and climate minister Robert Habeck said:

“Fundamentally, independence and sovereignty in energy policy and climate-neutral energy production are the same thing.” 

He also said, in the short term, he wouldn’t rule out keeping coal-fired power plants in reserve or “perhaps even leave them running” as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile a think tank called for, 

“Increased subsidies and legal measures to completely switch the heating supply for the country’s buildings to renewable energy sources by 2035.

From CLEW: “Germany’s government has initiated first steps of wide-ranging renewables reform to make the country’s power supply almost 100 percent renewable by 2035.” Photo from RWE.

Dr. Simone, president of the German Renewable Energies Federation (BEE), umbrella organization for 25 renewable energy associations, said: 

“The Platform for a climate-neutral electricity system anchored in the coalition agreement, should start work immediately in order to explore the possibilities of comprehensive domestic supply with renewable energies,”

And also from BEE, a call to increase hydrogen and Biogas:

“Germany currently has more than 9,500 biogas plants, which together produce about 10 billion cubic meters of gas with an energy content of about 100 terawatt hours (TWh) per year.” 

Hermann Ott, head of Germany’s ClientEarth’s office said: 

“Increasing gas infrastructure must be avoided at all costs to avert dangerous climate change impacts.”

And in the UK, the Guardian, a leftist paper, reported:

“Fossil fuel companies are trying to exploit this war for their gain.”

“Never ones to let a good crisis go to waste, the fossil fuel industry and their allies have taken to the airwaves over the last few days to try and use the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an excuse for greater oil and gas development.”

Change may be possible, but, aside from some rhetoric, there doesn’t seem to be real support for change.

For example, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Germany would send aid to Ukraine, increase Germany’s military strength, and, if necessary, continue using coal and nuclear power. He also said Germany would build two LNG import terminals.

However, in addition, he said:

“The faster we make progress with the development of renewable energies, the better.”

“We are on the right track. We are an industrialized country aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2045!”

There should be no misunderstanding. The EU, and Germany in particular, still seem bent on eliminating fossil fuels.

These positions could change, but statements coming from Europe seem to demonstrate the imbedded determination in Europe, and especially Germany, to eliminate fossil fuels.

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3 Replies to “EU Doubling Down on Net-zero”

  1. I used to think of Germany as the canary in the coal mine for green dreams and Nut Zero … but that’s gutting to be an insult to canaries! They are smart birds. Germany seems headed toward destruction of the reliable electric grid. And even higher electricity prices that are already too high. It almost seems like their hired China to redesign their electric grid, and China decided to sabotage it, hoping to get more German companies to outsource their manufacturing to China.

    Meanwhile, I looked at German electricity generation last week (five days starting with February 28). They burn a lot of coal, lignite and natural gas. Once in a while there is a very strong wind. Wind output was decent on February 28 and very strong on March 1, but weak for the next three days. A major manufacturing nation can’t survive on such variable, unpredictable sources of energy. … On the other hand there is good news for a few people — those people managing the German electric grid will have so much more excitement on their jobs in the future! And sellers of flashlights and candles should do well too.

    • Thanks. There’s no question energiewende is destroying Germany as a functioning industrialized nation.
      I think you have summarized the beneficiaries very well.

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