Renewable energies instead of expensive imports

Greenpeace study: Consistent conversion would also be economically viable

Wind power: Renewable energy source as an alternative to climate-damaging fossil fuels. © freeimages
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The EU could significantly reduce the expensive imports of coal, oil and gas in the future - if it now consistently relies on renewable energy. This shows a study commissioned by the environmental organization Greenpeace. Increasing the share of renewables by 40 instead of by just 27 percent by 2030, as the EU plans so far, could in the long term end dependency on imports, serve climate protection and even pay off financially.

Renewable energy sources are increasingly supplying Europe with green electricity. However, by far the greater part of the electricity supply still depends on the climate-damaging fossil fuels coal, oil and gas. Just over half of these energy sources have to be imported by the European Union (EU) states, especially from Russia. These imports cost 400 billion euros a year and also make the EU dependent on supplies from outside.

EU Commission relies on fossil fuels

To reduce these costs and above all to end the energy dependence of imported oil and gas, there are two scenarios: The EU Commission continues to rely largely on fossil fuels. It proposes to increase the share of renewable energies to 27 percent by 2030 and to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) by 40 percent. This is contrasted by the "Energy [R] evolution" scenario of the environmental organization Greenpeace, with much more ambitious goals in the same period: at least 45 percent renewable energy and 55 percent less CO2, in addition, energy consumption should generally fall by 40 percent.

In their newly published report, environmentalists have compared the two scenarios and calculated what investments, costs and benefits each would incur. Researchers of the German Aerospace Center of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik were involved. The report comes to a crushing conclusion: "The plans of the EU Commission are completely inadequate, " says Greenpeace energy expert Sven Teske, the lead author of the report.

45 percent less energy imports

For example, even if the EU uses all of its own gas, oil and coal reserves, by 2030 it would still have to buy 255 billion cubic meters of gas, 2.8 billion barrels of oil and 81 million tons of coal, according to the calculations. The goals of the Greenpeace scenario could save 25 percent of gas and 40 percent of oil. Coal would no longer be imported from 2030. Overall, the EU needs 45 percent less energy imports than its own plans, according to the Greenpeace proposal. display

The saved money could further advance the energy transition, because the stronger expansion of renewable energies requires investment: The environmental organization estimates around 1.75 trillion euros by the year 2030. This is around ten percent or ten billion euros j More than in the EU scenario, which starts with 1.55 trillion euros in investment. However, these costs could more than be offset by savings from lower fuel requirements, the researchers say.

Climate protection, workplaces, energy independence

In the long term, the "Energy [R] evolution" is also financially viable. For example, the price of electricity generation in the Greenpeace scenario will increase by 0.7 cents per kilowatt hour until 2020, compared to the EU plans. Commission. According to the calculations, however, according to the calculations, the price of green electricity will drop again, and by 2050 one kilowatt hour will cost even 2.5 cents less.

Added to this is the decline in CO2 emissions: Greenpeace expects 60 percent less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared with only 40 percent according to the EU Commission's plans. "Renewable energy uses climate change, creates jobs, and is the best recipe for energy independence, " Teske sums up, appealing, "If everyone has realized that energy efficiency and energy efficiency are at stake Climate protection plays an important role, ambitious goals must now follow. "

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(Greenpeace, 26.06.2014 - AKR)