Clean Energy Wire – Informed Comment Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion Sun, 21 Apr 2024 02:57:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Human-Caused Climate Change will cut your Paycheck by a Fifth over the next 26 Years Sun, 21 Apr 2024 04:04:03 +0000 By Julian Wettengel | –

Clean Energy Wire ) – The damaging effects of climate change are set to hit economic growth severely across most countries, said researchers from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

With the climate change that is already locked-in through past and “plausible” future emissions, income will be 19 percent lower on average globally over the next 26 years than in a scenario without climate change, they said in an article in Nature.

This corresponds to global annual damages in 2049 of 38 trillion dollars (in 2005 dollars), said the researchers. They also compared these damages to the mitigation costs required to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goals and said that climate damages are larger than the mitigation costs in 2050 by a factor of approximately six.

Maximilian Kotz et al. wrote,

    “Using an empirical approach that provides a robust lower bound on the persistence of impacts on economic growth, we find that the world economy is committed to an income reduction of 19% within the next 26 years independent of future emission choices (relative to a baseline without climate impacts, likely range of 11–29% accounting for physical climate and empirical uncertainty). These damages already outweigh the mitigation costs required to limit global warming to 2 °C by sixfold over this near-term time frame and thereafter diverge strongly dependent on emission choices. Committed damages arise predominantly through changes in average temperature, but accounting for further climatic components raises estimates by approximately 50% and leads to stronger regional heterogeneity.”

The red shows decreases in income, the blue increases, caused by climate change. H/t Nature

Climate advocates and policymakers often emphasise that the cost of inaction on climate change is set to be much larger than the cost of efforts to mitigate the worst effects by introducing ambitious climate policy.

German government representatives have also said that climate mitigation is of the highest priority, because the less intense the impacts of climate change are, the less money needs to be spent adapting to them.

Published under a “ Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)”. The text has been augmented by quotes from the original Nature article.

Germany produced Record 175 TWh Energy with Wind, Solar in Past Year, as Wind Farms Surge Mon, 01 Apr 2024 04:02:37 +0000 By Julian Wettengel | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) The year 2023 was the windiest in Germany in more than 15 years, providing excellent conditions for wind electricity generation, said Germany’s National Meteorological Service (DWD).

In 2023, the average wind speed across Germany at a height of 100 metres [yards] – a typical hub height for wind turbines in this country – was just under 6 metres [yards] per second (m/s), DWD said. Wind speeds were significantly higher than the long-term average, particularly in the winter months of January, November and December and reached the highest level since 2007.

Will renewables stop the climate crisis? | DW Documentary Video

Last year was also a good one for solar PV, but not a record year like 2022, DWD added. “From a meteorological perspective, 2023 was a successful year for the use of renewable energies in Germany,” DWD vice president Renate Hagedorn commented.

The expansion of onshore wind power in Germany is picking up again and it appears that a “politically caused” dent in newly installed capacity between 2019 and 2021 has been overcome, industry lobby group BWE said earlier this month.

Preliminary data by energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB) showed that onshore wind turbines produced a record 114.2 terawatt hours (TWh) in Germany in 2023, while solar PV produced a record 61.1 TWh.

In January, the DWD had said that 2023 also marked Germany’s hottest year since records began in 1881, warning that the country had to “take intensive action to protect the climate and adapt to the damage caused by extreme weather events.”

Via Clean Energy Wire

Published under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Number of Solar Batteries doubles to over One Million in Germany in 2023 Sat, 17 Feb 2024 05:04:46 +0000 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Germany’s boom in stationary batteries linked to solar PV systems accelerated last year, doubling the total number of units to more than one million, reports solar industry association BSW. The batteries have a combined capacity of 12 gigawatt-hours – enough to power 1.5 million 2-person households for a day.

“The expansion of solar electricity storage systems has picked up speed rapidly. Both the total number of solar batteries installed and their storage capacity have doubled in just one year,” said the lobby group.

“When installing new solar power systems on private buildings, electricity storage systems are now standard. More and more companies are also storing solar power from their roofs to use it around the clock,” said the association’s director, Carsten Körnig. He added that the market for home and commercial storage systems grew by over 150 per cent in 2023.

The industry group lamented that current policies still underestimate the potential of battery storage systems, and that market barriers continue to slow their spread. Against this backdrop, BSW welcomed the economy and climate ministry’s proposals for a storage strategy published in December, but said the draft didn’t address central strategic questions regarding the role of batteries in tomorrow’s electricity system.

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) Video : “Going Green – Germany’s Energy Transition”

Storage systems should be considered a central pillar of the electricity system, on par with generation, grid, and consumption, the industry association said.

Storage will become key in the next phase of the energy transition, as Germany aims to cover 80 percent of power demand with renewable sources by 2030. A traditional electricity system doesn’t require much storage because power generation can be adjusted to match demand.

This changes dramatically as the system uses more renewable energy, as power generation from wind turbines and solar PV systems depends on the weather. This means that production often dramatically exceeds demand but also that current power production can fall well short of what is needed at a given moment.

Via Clean Energy Wire

Published under a “ Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Renewables cover 52% of Germany’s Electricity Demand for First Time in 2023 Thu, 04 Jan 2024 05:04:44 +0000 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Germany has generated more than half of the electricity it used this year with renewable energy for the first time, according to preliminary calculations by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and utility association BDEW.

“Renewable energies will have covered almost 52 percent of gross electricity consumption in 2023,” the organisations said in a press release. “This means that the share has risen by five percentage points compared to the same period last year and is above the 50 percent mark for the first time for a full year.”

Germany’s renewables share was 46 percent in 2022. Both a decrease of overall electricity consumption and an increase in absolute renewables production – which rose six percent to an all-time high of 267 TWh – pushed up the share of renewable electricity.

Germany aims to have a renewable electricity share of 80 percent by 2030 and a largely decarbonised power supply by 2035. “The figures show that we are on the right track. Many people once thought that renewables would only account for a single-digit share of electricity consumption, but today we use more electricity from renewables than from conventional sources and have our sights firmly set on 100 percent renewables,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae, who called for the removal of bureaucratic hurdles that slow down the renewables roll-out.

CGTN Europe: “Sunny times ahead for German solar industry ”

The country’s environment agency UBA also said the targets were challenging. “According to current estimates, renewable electricity generation must increase to around 600 terawatt hours [by 2030] and thus more than double in order to cover the increasing demand for electrification in the heating and transport sectors,” UBA said.

ZSW and BDEW said the share of renewable electricity was particularly high in July (59%), May (57%) and October and November (55% each). In June, electricity generation from photovoltaics reached a new all-time record of 9.8 terawatt-hours (TWh), while electricity generation from onshore wind energy reached a new record of 113.5 TWh for the year as a whole, they added.

Solar and wind energy contributed around 75 percent of Germany’s renewable electricity, with the remainder covered by biomass, hydropower, and a small share of geothermal plants.

Graph shows renewables share in gross power consumption 1990-2023. Graph: CLEW 2023:

Published under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Pre-COP Report: German Industry Investments in Climate Protection increased 74% over 10 years Sun, 03 Dec 2023 05:06:20 +0000 By Edgar Meza | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – German industry is increasingly investing in climate protection measures, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported just before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which kicked off on 30 November.

Climate protection investments in the manufacturing sector have increased by 74.3 percent over a decade. In 2021, manufacturers spent some 4.15 billion euros on systems to avoid emissions or use resources more sparingly, up from 2.38 billion in 2011. Legal regulations and government funding have contributed to the increase in investments, Destatis notes.

Nearly 50 percent of climate protection investments in 2021 — 2.04 billion euros [$2.22 bn.] — went to renewable energy sources, including wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.

Image by Melanie from Pixabay

Companies invested a further 1.63 billion euros ($1.77 bn) (39.2%) in increasing energy efficiency and energy saving, such as thermal insulation of buildings or systems with combined heat and power. The manufacturing and service sectors generated sales of 53 billion euros with climate protection products in 2021 – an 11.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

The solar sector saw the biggest sales increase in 2021 with a 24 percent boost (920 million euros) for a total of 4.8 billion euros. From 2011 to 2021, sales of climate protection products – such a solar PV arrays and insulation – rose 16 percent. Nearly 55 percent of sales, or 28.6 billion euros, came from measures to increase energy efficiency in 2021.

Thermal insulation of buildings contributed substantially, generating almost 10.2 billion euros [$11.1 bn.] in sales, while the manufacture and installation of wind turbines resulted in revenue of 11.8 billion euros [$12.8 bn.].

Meanwhile, the number of employees in “green jobs,” increased by 44 percent between 2011 and 2021.

German development bank KfW recently reported that climate protection investments by domestic companies in 2022 rose by 18 percent in real terms to 72 billion euros [$78.4 bn.].

Published under a “ Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Germany adds 50% more Wind Power Year over Year as Approvals are Streamlined Wed, 18 Oct 2023 04:04:58 +0000 By Jack McGovan | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Germany has added 50 percent more new wind power capacity in the first nine months of 2023 than in the same time period last year, reports news agency dpa in an article published by the Stuttgarter Zeitung. Preliminary figures seen by dpa show that 518 new turbines were constructed between January and September, corresponding to an additional 2.4 gigawatts capacity.

Most of the expansion occurred in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, all northern states, following. However, 316 old turbines were shut down since January, leaving a net increase of 202 installations, with newer ones being much more efficient.

Part of the reason for the uptick is the increased rate of approval for new turbines, the agency reported. The first nine months of this year saw the approval of 976 turbines across the country, equivalent to an capacity increase of 77 percent.

Image by 12019 from Pixabay

According to the Fachagentur Windenergie, who provided the data, there have never been so many approvals during the time period in previous years.

Despite more approvals, the wind industry has said the country’s autobahn operator are sabotaging the roll-out of wind turbines by refusing the necessary permits to transport parts. Southern states are also slow to grow their wind industries, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently referring to their expansion as depressing.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Price Drops for Clean Technologies could become a Game Changer for Green Energy Transition Sat, 07 Oct 2023 04:02:20 +0000 By Carolina Kyllmann | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – The past decade has seen a sharp drop in prices for clean technologies, which means models identifying efficient pathways to reduce emissions could become subject to change.

Plummeting prices for solar and wind power generation, battery storage or heat pumps could make the energy transition take effect faster than previously expected, according to a report by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC).

“The fight against global warming remains an enormous political challenge – but at least new, cheaper ways are opening up,” the MCC said. During the past decade, solar power generation has become 87 percent and battery storage 85 percent cheaper, according to the institute.

While scenarios compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C are optimistic regarding the deployment of technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), they don’t reflect the rates of technological learning and upscaling in renewables in the past decade, the researchers wrote.

There is now evidence “that fossil-free alternatives could become a game changer instead,” according to the MCC.

Article continues after bonus IC video
Vox: “0:02 / 6:30
How solar energy got so cheap”

“Greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the measures taken so far are too weak, but in this politically muddled situation, technological progress provides a ray of hope,” report co-author Jan Minx said.

New decarbonisation models could show that, in the foreseeable future, the global energy transition might be less costly than previously assumed and even help to save costs, Minx added.

The models informing pathways to reduce emissions “would benefit from updated cost assumptions . . . higher resolution on sector coupling, and an overall consideration of demand-side solutions,” the authors concluded.

Published under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)”

Via Clean Energy Wire

Germany Covers 52 percent of Electricity Consumption with Renewables so Far this Year Sat, 30 Sep 2023 04:04:43 +0000 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire) – Renewables covered more than half of Germany’s electricity consumption so far this year, according to calculations by utility association BDEW and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW). Between January and September, the amount of renewables in the electricity mix rose to around 52 percent – an increase of almost five percentage points compared to the same period last year.

“Between March and September, the share of renewable energies was consistently around 50 percent or more in every single month. The months of May and July were particularly strong, with a renewable share of 57 and 59 percent, respectively,” said BDEW and the ZSW.A decrease in Germany’s total power consumption helped push up the share of renewables, they added.

However, renewable energy generation also rose by almost 4 percent in absolute terms, reaching 199 billion kWh in the first three quarters of the year. In June, electricity generation from photovoltaics reached a new monthly record of 9.8 billion kWh – an increase of more than 16 percent compared to the same month last year.

Photo by Andreas Gücklhorn, German solar facility, on Unsplash

“These figures encourage us to tackle the next milestones. In particular, obstacles to the expansion of wind energy must be removed,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae.

She added that Germany urgently needed to install hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants to guarantee future power supply in times without wind or sunshine.

Germany is aiming for 80 percent renewable power in its electricity mix by 2030, with wind considered the most important source.

The increasing electrification of sectors that so far rely on other energy sources, especially heating and mobility, are likely to boost the total demand for electricity in the next few years while cutting fossil fuel use.

While the rollout of solar power has accelerated recently, the expansion of wind power in Germany remains off-track.

Published under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Via Clean Energy Wire

Climate Change Floods: Greece and Libya Dwarf Germany’s 2021 Disaster, Must Spur Action say Climate Researchers Sun, 24 Sep 2023 04:02:46 +0000 By Benjamin Wehrmann | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – The record rainfalls triggering deadly floods in Libya and Greece dwarf the precipitation that caused Germany’s 2021 flood catastrophe, and are a grim reminder of the need to act on and adapt to climate change, said German climate researcher Mojib Latif in an interview with public broadcaster BR.

“In the past week, we’ve measured rainfall volumes never seen before in Europe,” Latif said. “At times, this has been multiple times the volume we’ve seen in the Ahr Valley flood,” the researcher said, pointing to Germany’s worst floods catastrophe in decades that killed 135 people in the region and dozens more across Europe in 2021.

The heavy rains that fell “in a very, very short time” in the Mediterranean had become “a sort of Medicane” that can be attributed to climate change, the researcher from the GEOMAR marine research institute stressed. Latif said Europe has been complacent with respect to the damages expected from global warming for too long and needed to adapt quickly.

“I think this is beginning to change now,” he added. “We’re starting to see that climate change not only means higher temperatures, but especially more extreme weather, more potential for damage and above all a gigantic challenge for people’s health.”

The storm that hit several countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region had triggered unprecedented floods in northern Greece and killed more than 5,000 people in Libya alone.

The damages from torrential rains and floods, but also from forest fires, droughts, and storms have risen across Europe in the past years, leading the EU to call for a revision of disaster response funding that is starting to become overstretched by the number of incidents occurring in a short span of time. European countries are struggling to adapt to the fast-mounting challenges of a heating climate and are seeking strategies that allow to better cope with the effects natural disasters have on health, food production and economic stability.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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