July 10, 2010

Germany to be Carbon-Free by 2050

By admin

Germany has always been known as a leader with wind and solar power collection – two of several options for renewable energies.

However, according to Germany’s Federal Environment Agency, there is a distinct possibility that Germany will have completely quit it’s reliance on carbon-based energy by the year 2050.

Here are some of details to consider:

  • “A complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 is possible from a technical and ecological point of view,” Jochen Flasbarth, president of the Federal Environment Agency, told reporters earlier this week.
  • The transition would also create new jobs and increase exports of renewable energy technologies.
  • The country already employs some 300,000 in the renewable energy sector and is the world’s leader in installed photovoltaic capacity and second largest generator of wind power after the US.
  • Currently around 40% of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions come from electricity generation, particularly coal-fired plants, but the Government has committed to cutting emissions 40% on 1990 levels by 2020 and 80-85% by 2050.
  • Meanwhile, the German authorities have finally agreed a two-step plan to reduce feed-in tariffs by 3% later this year.
  • The German Federal Network Agency says that 714 MW of solar capacity was installed in Q1 of this year, a ten-fold increase on last year. The change to the feed-in tariff is expected to calm the market but not lead to a collapse, according to media reports.

Going one step further, I started to browse the German Environment Agency web site and found that most of the articles are those that would make head-in-the-sand Conservatives and environment-deniers shriek:

  • “Germany met its Kyoto Protocol Climate Protection Obligations in 2008”
  • “Unecological subsidies cost 48 billion Euros in tax revenues every year”
  • “How to reduce Germany’s CO2 emissions by 40%”
  • “CO2 capture and storage is only an interim solution” (and not a real one, Steve)
  • “Climate protection fuels employment”

All of this goes to show that ‘necessity really IS the mother of invention’.  Germany’s not known for its natural energy resources – except for coal – so they’ve got to take care of themselves some other way.  And because Canada is sitting on the world’s biggest cess pool of crap some people call ‘oil’, we don’t bother investing in technology and energy supplies that might actually be sustainable.

Despite how distressing the situation is (and how much it makes me want to move to Germany), I can’t help but laugh at the image of Merkel and Harper in a literal wrestling match and exchanging fisticuffs every time they get together for a little $1.2 billion party.  But then, I suppose Merkel’s probably thinking ahead with ideas like “we’ll be selling these trolls everything they need over the next 50 years and we’ll pretty much own Canada”.