WINGAS at the BDEW Congress / Presentation of a new forsa survey: “For consumers, low heating costs and environmentally friendly technologies are equally important”
Berlin/Kassel. Dr. Ludwig Möhring, Managing Director of WINGAS GmbH, has called for a fundamental review of energy policy at this year’s Congress of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). Representatives from the political sphere and the energy industry met on 8 and 9 June in Berlin to discuss the status quo of the German and European energy industry at the congress entitled “Change: New Ideas, New Formats”. At the forum Möhring spoke out in favor of climate protection measures that are economically viable, affordable for the population, and which also bring success in the goal to reduce CO2 emissions: “The Paris climate agreement is not just visionary, it is a clear mandate to act for the signatory states, and especially for Germany. Even if many people don’t want to hear it: Germany has achieved nothing in the last few years in terms of CO2 reductions. That must change, because what’s left of the CO2 budget for this century will be depleted by the 2040’s if global CO2 emissions do not fall,” Möhring emphasized to the 1,400 participants.
“So far Germany is not living up to the role of self-appointed pioneer in climate protection, there is a lack of serious political will to protect the climate. Countries that are pursuing the 1.5 degree target cannot focus on climate protection targets in 30 or 40 years because it will be too late then – by then our CO2 budget will have been exhausted a long time ago,” Möhring underlined in reference to the German federal government’s current environment policy. “I would like to finally see a clear signal and a true commitment to climate protection as a driver of Germany’s energy transition from the political leaders. For genuine climate protection, the energy transition cannot be limited to merely expanding renewable energies; instead the focus must be on the optimal combination of renewables and conventional energies from the perspective of CO2 emissions and cost-effectiveness.”
Effective climate protection would only succeed when conventional energies and renewable energies went hand in hand, Möhring went on to explain, adding that natural gas was essential in designing the optimal energy mix. “Natural gas must play the main role alongside renewable energies if we want to reduce CO2 in an affordable way, something that has long since been recognized outside Germany. The advantages are plain to see: natural gas is the cleanest of all the conventional energy sources and thus a key partner as we transition to a low-carbon future.”
forsa survey: 61 percent prefer natural gas
A survey on the energy supply conducted by the public opinion research institute forsa and commissioned by WINGAS GmbH confirmed that natural gas is a popular form of energy in Germany. In response to the question of which traditional energy sources, alongside renewable energies, should play a primary role in the energy landscape, 61 percent (2015: 59 percent) voiced their support for natural gas. This means that natural gas is by far the most popular out of the traditional energy sources: 27 percent of those asked favored oil, while hard coal and lignite came last with 17 and 16 percent respectively. And only 19 percent voted in favor of nuclear power. That is a decline of five percent compared to the previous year.
The survey also revealed that natural gas is a very trusted source of energy on the heating market for significantly more than half of home owners. Well over 50 percent prefer natural gas-based technologies: 30 percent of home owners, and thus seven percent more than in 2015, would choose a heating system powered by natural gas – another fifth of those asked would use natural gas heating in combination with solar or geothermal energy. A further seven percent would like to have a power-generating heating system or fuel cell system based on natural gas. And twelve percent of those interviewed would be in favor of a heat pump. Only one in ten would resort to an oil-based heating system. Regarding the criteria for selecting a new heating system, low heating costs were the most important factor for the survey respondents. For 35 percent of home owners this was the decisive factor. However, German citizens also attach considerable importance to low CO2 emissions when purchasing a new heating system: for 34 percent of home owners this is the most important criterion.