German Power Reduces Carbon in 2019
Germany cut its CO2 emissions in the electricity sector by 50mn metric tons in 2019, or by 7%, compared with the year before. In addition to the changeover from coal to natural gas generation and the favourable weather conditions for wind and solar plants, the main drivers were the surprisingly strong decline in electricity consumption, according to the newly published annual report from the Agora Energiewende think-tank.
Renewable energy rose 8% year on year, which is due in particular to increases in wind power. At the same time, the generation of electricity from coal fell 25% owing due to the higher CO2 price. Electricity generation from low-emission and cheap natural gas rose 11% in the same period.
Timm Kehler, board member of the Future Erdgas industry initiative, said January 13: “We are pleased with the positive development, which confirms what we have been saying for a long time: The change from coal to gas leads to quick and weather-independent CO2 successes – and without the consumer having to pay for it. With a 28% share, coal still holds second place in the electricity mix after renewables. There is enormous climate protection potential here, which must be gradually exploited with the upcoming coal phase-out. The gas power plant fleet is available as a highly flexible backup in order to guarantee energy supply even on windless, low-sun days. "