– Germany to be gas powered for next 70 years (RT, Dec 12, 2014):
Germany’s plan to phase out nuclear energy and switch to renewables by 2022 is unrealistic as the country is doomed to remain dependent on fossil fuels like oil and gas for the next 70 years, energy expert Matthias Dornfeldt told RT.
Renewables can’t replace fossil fuels overnight because there’s not enough infrastructure, said Dornfeldt in an interview with RT. He believes the 21st century will be the century of gas, as the 20th century was the century of oil.
“We are going to be dependent on oil as well as on gas, as I see, for the next 50, 60, 70 years”, he said, adding there is “a huge impact of fossil fuels on the national economy in Germany.”
His comments echo a Wednesday study by the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) that said Germany would remain dependent on fossil fuels for decades.
Oil, natural gas, coal and lignite account for 80 percent of German energy consumption. Germany’s game plan to switch to renewables known as Energiewende, and the recently approved National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency looking very unrealistic, the report added.
Following the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, Angela Merkel’s government made a commitment to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and get 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. The country will need new energy infrastructure, including new power plants, transmission lines and additional energy storage.
Although some scientists look at the government’s attempts to cut emissions with skepticism, it hopes to reverse this with the Action Plan on Climate Protection it passed earlier in December. The plan suggests a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by 2020.
Germany is still on a long way from achieving its target. Even oil production in Germany, which is small compared with the big international producers, contributes more to power generation than all of domestic photovoltaic equipment put together, the BGR study says.
In 2014 the share of renewables in Germany’s energy mix grew 5 percent from the year before.