Germany’s first climate law features a series of measures for reaching the country’s 2030 emissions reduction targets. The raft of policy proposals presented by the government on October 9, 2019 ranges from an emissions trading plan for the transport and building sectors to a target of one million charging points for electric vehicles in 2030. What is not included is a policy proposal for natural gas.
Yet this does not mean gas will no longer play a role in the country’s energy mix. On the contrary. Gas may have been removed from the major climate debate and hidden safely out of the public eye, but it is being subjected to ever intense scrutiny. On the same day the climate law was presented, Germany’s economic affairs minister Peter Altmaier presented the first (“initial”) outcome of the Gas 2030 Dialogue — a “stakeholder dialogue process” started in December 2018 by the ministry.
Under the umbrella of Gas 2030, over 100 companies, business associations, NGOs, researchers and political representatives, coordinated by DENA, the German energy agency, have been discussing the future of gas in Germany. DENA was established by the ministry of economics and technology in 2000 to implement Germany’s Climate Protection Programme, but is a private company, whose stakeholders include the state and banks KfW, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, and Allianz, a financial services company. The forum’s conclusion is that: “Natural gas will play an important role in the energy system and in industry beyond 2030.”
New York City has been testing a pilot version of a tool developed to estimate emissions from its buildings, potential refits, costs and benefits
Germany is exploring the potential of PPAs to provide revenue to owners of wind farms and photovoltaic installations after state support expires in the coming years
Energy Cities, a European association of local authorities, estimates a city will need between €1 billion and €3 billion to reach net zero emissions by 2050
By enforcing its competition laws, the European Commission can genuinely lead the clean energy transition, says Sara Bell from Tempus Energy
European policymakers are convinced, the energy transition cannot rely on electrification alone. “Molecules” will be needed, but the new molecules will not be based on natural gas, and there will be a lot less of them
There will be no place for fossil gas in a decarbonised world, says Florent Marcellesi, a Green Member of the European Parliament, urging the European Commission to agree clear definitions and a sound taxonomy for all new gases to ensure they comply with the Paris Climate Agreement
The IPCC report makes it clear global warming needs to be kept below 1.5C and that renewables and energy efficiency must replace fossil fuels. Europe continues, however, to invest in gas infrastructure, potentially jeopardising decarbonisation and the clean energy transition