GERMANY NOT MEETING CO2eq EMISSION REDUCTION GOALS

Germany, a major industrial country, is a leader in renewable energy generation. However, Germany made a significant mistake. Germany decided to phase out its nuclear plants, which produce low-cost electricity that has near-zero CO2/kWh, instead of replacing the plants. Germany continued to the use of lignite, a soft coal (low-Btu/lb.) coal, and hard coal. As a result, the CO2eq emissions have not decreased for the past 8 years.

 

Germany is headed for a clear failure to meet its 2020 and 2030 CO2eq reduction targets, according to calculations by the country’s environment ministry. Without further action, Germany’s CO2eq emissions will only be 31.7% to 32.5% below 1990 levels, an internal environment ministry paper seen by the Clean Energy Wire shows.

 

Given the official target of reducing CO2eq by 40%, the ministry warns that a failure of this magnitude would constitute a “significant blow to Germany’s climate policy”, and would amount to “a disaster for Germany’s international reputation as a climate leader”.

http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/10/11/germany-miss-climate-ta...

 

German Electricity Consumption: Germany has a goal to have 80% of its final electricity consumption (to user meters) from RE sources by 2050, per Die Energiewende. The RE goals are:

 

Table 2/Year

% RE of final electricity consumption

2020

35

2030

 50

2040

65

2050

80

 

Thus, about 20% of final electricity consumption could continue to be from fossil fuels, such as natural gas, in 2050. See table 2.

 

The RE percent of German final electricity consumption was 30.8%, 32.7%, and 35.1% in the first half of 2015, 2016, and 2017, respectively. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energiewende_in_Germany

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumpt...

Energy Conversion Flow Chart from Source to Meter: Grid operators often provide the real-time intensity of CO2eq emissions on their websites. They calculate the CO2eq/kWh and CO2eq/y for each generator, based on:

- The heat rate curve of each generator connected to the grid, which shows Btu/MWh versus percent of rated output.

- Monitoring the output fed to the grid of each generator on a real-time basis.

 

By summing the CO2eq of all generators, including peaking units and synchronous standby units (while in this mode they do not feed into the grid), the total grid CO2eq and grid g CO2eq/kWh, is determined for each year and published in reports. Ignored are:

1) The plant self use energy, about 4% of the energy fed to the plant.

2) The energy required for exploration, extraction, processing and transportation before the fuel is fed into the plant.

- If a grid has hydro plants with storage reservoirs there will be pumping losses; round-trip loss about 20%.

- Trading electricity involves energy losses and the imported electricity may not be as clean as the exported electricity.

- The energy left over is transmitted and distributed and metered as medium voltage or low voltage.

- Table 2A shows the CO2eq/kWh of the various steps.

- The bold values in table 2A are directly from referenced URLs.

 

Table 2A

2016

2016

2016

TWh

g CO2eq/kWh

million Mt

1

Gross generation; energy conversion; URL No. 1

650.6

460

299

2

Upstream uses various energy sources*, 10%

33

3

Self-use loss, 4% of gross generation

-26.0

5

Net generation (fed to grid), 1 - 3; URL No. 2

624.6

532

332

6

Step up to HV, 1% loss

-6.2

7

Pumped hydro storage loss*

-16.0

8

Net exports (Exports - Imports); URL No. 1

-53.7

9

HV transmission loss, 2% of net generation

-12.6

10

Electricity consumption; URL No. 3

536.0

619

332

11

Step down to Medium Voltage, 1% loss

-5.4

12

Grid CO2 for MV users

530.7

626

332

13

Step down to Low Voltage, 1% loss

-5.3

14

Grid CO2 for LV users

525.4

632

332

 

* Electric pumps pump water into upper hydro reservoirs, from which it is later discharged to hydro plants to generate electricity. That process has a round-trip pumping loss.

* Upstream CO2eq adds about 10% to the combustion CO2eq of gross generation by plants

* Upstream includes emissions due to exploration, extraction, processing and transportation.

 

1) https://www.ag-energiebilanzen.de/4-1-Home.html

2) https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-greenhouse-gas-...

3) https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumpt...

 

NOTE: Regarding plug-in hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles in Germany, CO2eq = 632 g/kWh should have been used in 2016 for analysis for only the driving CO2eq, as in this article. The embedded CO2eq is separate issue.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/comparison-of-energy-ef...

German Primary Energy Consumption: Germany has a goal to have 60% of its primary energy consumption from RE sources by 2050, per the Energiewende. Table 3 shows the German goals and compares them with Denmark and Vermont.

 

Table 3/RE goals

Primary energy

 Elect’l prod’n

 Primary energy

Household elect rate

 

% of total

 % by 2050

% by 2050

 

Denmark 2015

27.2

 100

100

30 eurocent/kWh

Vermont 2016

16.5

 90

90

18 c/kWh

Germany 2016

12.6

 80

60

29 eurocent/kWh

Germany 2030 Energiewende Goals: Germany’s CO2eq emission goals (from all sources) for 2030 are shown in table 4. See URL.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-greenhouse-gas-...  

 

Table 4/Year

1990

2014

2030

2030

CO2eq

MMt

MMt

MMt

% reduction

Energy

466

358

175-183

61-62

Buildings

209

119

70-72

66-67

Transport

163

160

95-98

40-42

Industry

283

181

140-143

49-51

Agriculture

88

72

58-61

31-34

Other

39

12

5

87

Total

1248

902

543-562

55-56

Germany Not Reaching CO2eq Goals: Germany’s CO2eq emissions (from all sources) are about the same as in 2009. As part of the Energiewende, Germany is aiming to have:

 

- 80% of its electricity from RE by 2050

- 60% of all primary energy from RE by 2050

- 80% less CO2eq than in 1990, by 2050

 

Germany will not meet its CO2eq reduction targets for 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050, unless it immediately starts phasing out all coal power plants, which produced 261.5/648.3 = 40.3% of net electricity generation in 2016.

http://www.ag-energiebilanzen.de/4-1-Home.html

https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/klima-energie/energieversorgu...

NOTE: This URL shows 332 million Mt from 575.2 TWh in 2016, or 332/575.2 = 577 g CO2/kWh. See table 5.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-greenhouse-gas-...

https://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/london/german-201...

 

NOTE: In Germany, the GWP for the electricity mix remained stable with 611 g CO2-eq./kWh in 2013 compared to 606 g CO2-eq./kWh in 2012. The 611 corroborates the 604 value in table 5. See page 17 of URL.

http://www.gabi-software.com/fileadmin/GaBi_Databases/GaBi_Database...

 

Table 5/Year

All sources CO2eq

Below 1990

CO2 Elect

Below 1990

CO2 Elect

 

Million Mt

%

Million Mt

%

g/kWh

1990 actual

1252

 

427

 

 

2000 actual

1045

 

358

 

 

2009 actual

908

28

345

 

 

2010 actual

943

 

357

 

 

2013 actual

942

 

367

 

604

2014 actual

903

 

349

 

 

2015 actual

907

 

337

 

 

2016 actual

909

28

332

22

577

2017 actual

905

28

319

 

 

2020 target

751

40

 

 

 

2030 target

562

55

 

 

 

2040 target

375

70

 

 

 

2050 target

250

80

 

 

 

German Not Reaching Primary Energy Goals:Regarding the consumption of thermal energy for buildings, industry and commerce, and fuels for transportation, there has been so little change that the overall primary energy consumption from RE has increased to 13.1% in 2017. See goals in table 6 and URL.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/factsheets/germanys-energy-consumpt...

https://energytransition.org/2016/01/can-germany-reach-its-renewabl...;

NOTE: Primary energy is a lump of coal or a tank of gas; final energy is the electricity from that coal or the motive energy from that gasoline. However, no official estimate has yet been produced for final energy. The calculation is abstract; we know how much electricity was generated, but the calculation of final energy for all the heating systems around the country and for motor fuel used in the country’s more than 40 million vehicles is based on certain assumptions, such as the average efficiency of heating systems and vehicle gas mileage.

 

Table 6/Year

 Final energy

Primary energy

RE

%

%

2010

10.9

9.9

2014

13.5

11.6

2015

15.3

12.6

2016

?

12.6

2017

?

13.1

2020 goal

18.0

 

2050 goal

60.0

 

Germany Disconnecting GDP and CO2eq Emissions: Germany’s CO2eq decreased from 1252 MMt in 1990 to 1045 MMt in 2000 mainly due to closing down inefficient plants in East Germany. Germany did mange to have near constant CO2eq for 9 years during which GDP increased 3263/2460 = 32.6%, a remarkable achievement; population increased as well.

As far a nature is concerned, there was no positive achievement at all, because of the environmental damage, and damage to flora and fauna, caused by the increase in population and GDP.

 

Table 7/Year

CO2eq in MMt

GDP in Euro

2000

1045

2116

2006

1000

2393

2007

973

2513

2008

975

2561

2009

908

2460

2010

943

2580

2011

920

2703

2012

925

2758

2013

942

2826

2014

903

2932

2015

907

3043

2016

909

3144

2017

905

3263

APPENDIX 1

US CO2 Emissions Decreased Due to Less Coal and More Natural Gas: The URL shows the unusually rapid decrease of CO2 emissions during 2015 and 2016. Such a rapid decrease likely will not occur during the next few years, as natural gas prices likely will increase due to exports, and as changes in EPA rules likely will cause fewer coal plants to close. A “cleaner” US grid would mean EVs would compare more favorable with E10 vehicles regarding emissions. The US grid is “cleaner” than the German grid, on a source energy basis. See Table 2B.

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/mer.pdf

 

Table 2B

Year

2013

2016

CO2, MMt

2053

1821

To meters, TWh

3845.38

3845.38

kg CO2/kWh

0.5339

0.4736

lb/kg

2.2046

2.2046

lb CO2/kWh, PE basis

1.1770

1.0440

Upstream factor

1.08

1.08

lb CO2/kWh, SE basis

1.2712

1.1275

g/lb

454

454

g CO2/kWh, SE basis

577

512

APPENDIX 2

Comparison of Denmark, Vermont and Germany: Germany's goals are much less extreme than Vermont’s goal of "90% RE of all primary energy by 2050".

 

It would be less onerous, if Vermont had a goal of “40% RE of all primary energy by 2050”.

Vermont had 16.5% RE of all primary energy in 2016. See table 3.

 

Germany and Denmark, both with high levels of RE electricity generation, charge most of the extra costs to household electric bills by means of various taxes, fees and surcharges. As the result, both have the highest household electric rates in Europe. France, 80% nuclear, has one of the lowest household rates, about 15 c/kWh. See table 3.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-s-90-percent-re...

APPENDIX 3

- Source energy is the energy taken from coalmines, oil and gas wells, and forests for conversion to electricity and heat.

- Primary energy = source energy - energy used for exploration, extraction, processing and transport of fuels (coal, oil, gas, biofuels, wastes, etc.) to users, such as fuel to electricity generating plants, process plants, buildings, vehicles, etc. That means it has not been subjected to any conversion or transformation process.

 

APPENDIX 4

Denmark is in a unique situation with plentiful onshore and offshore winds, and large nearby grids to balance export excess electricity in case of stronger winds.

 

Vermont has no such wind uniqueness. Vermont has medium wind conditions and poor solar conditions, which means high wind and solar electricity costs/kWh, which would act as a wet blanket on the anemic, near-zero, real-growth Vermont Economy. See URLs.

 

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-true-cost-of-solar-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-true-cost-of-wind-e...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-speed-renewable...

 

For Vermont to reach “90% RE of all primary energy by 2050”, the best approach would be to significantly increase purchases of hydro electricity from Hydro Quebec, which is steady, 24/7/365, low-cost (5 - 7 c/kWh, much less than wind and solar), and has very low CO2/kWh (less than wind and solar). Here are some URLs about increased hydro energy from Hydro Quebec.

 

http://vtdigger.wpengine.com/2015/01/28/utilities-want-flexibility-...

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/eversource-hydro-qu-bec-offer-170400...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/increased-canadian-hydr...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/more-energy-from-hydro-...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/gmp-refusing-to-buy-add...

 

 

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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