1. Germany’s plan to transform its energy system to one reliant on renewable power as it phases out nuclear energy could cost up to €1 trillion, German energy and environment minister Peter Altmaier has publicly admitted. Feed-in tariffs supporting renewable energy could account for over two-thirds of the cost.
In an in-depth interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine, Altmaier said that costs for the plans to reform and restructure the country’s energy sector by the end of the 2030s could reach €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion). Feed-in tariffs – guaranteed electricity prices designed to support the adoption of renewables such as wind and photovoltaics – would alone cost some €680 billion ($910 billion) by 2020. That figure could increase further if the market price of electricity fell, he warned.
The shift to renewables is lagging the phase out of nuclear energy and that is being made up by increased coal usage. Increased coal usage is increasing pollution. The current pace of renewable addition will last for many years.
2. Germany saw increased emissions in greenhouse gases last year due to more coal and gas usage while the country seeks to develop its renewable energy sources, according to the Federal Environment Agency.
Germany, which has committed to phase out nuclear power, emitted the equivalent of around 931 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2012, or 14 million tonnes more than a year earlier, the agency said on Monday.
“Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany increased slightly in 2012 by 1.6 percent,” it said in a written statement.
“More coal was burned to generate electricity and more gas was used to heat homes, due to the weather,” it added. “The development of renewable energies abated the emissions’ increase however.”
After the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany embarked on an ambitious “energy revolution,” deciding to phase out its nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and bolster renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power.