“Mainstream of electrification is a trap”

Essen. “Germany aims to be the forerunner for climate protection, but has not yet achieved anything when it comes to reducing CO2,” said WINGAS Director of Sales Ludwig Möhring at the E-world Energy Management Meeting in Essen as part of the panel discussion “The industry in dialog with politics: How can decarbonization of energy suppliers succeed?”.

“We’re in a trap: Everything to do with renewable energies is regarded as good. And everything to do with fossil fuels as bad. Policymakers now sweepingly equate decarbonization with expansion in the use of renewables, with the result that conventional sources of energy are no longer on the political agenda,” added Möhring.

Yet an isolated focus on expanding renewable energies could not be the solution. Instead it was leading us into a trap: “We’re losing sight of what the actual goal is: For Germany to reduce CO2 lastingly, as quickly as possible and in an economically sensible way. That must have top priority and had to be discussed first of all without any bias toward specific technologies and sources of energy.

After all, the fact is that Germany has not cut CO2 emissions since 2011. It is also the sixth-largest producer of CO2 worldwide. According to the targets set at the Climate Change Conference in Paris, however, the global CO2 budget will be exhausted by the mid-2030s and cannot be renewed. Möhring stated: “A rethink is therefore necessary.”

Möhring’s criticism was also directed at the previous talk by Rainer Baake, Vice-Minister at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, who is above all committed to renewable energies and is striving for full electrification of the economy. “To do that, we’d need five times the electricity – how do we intend to achieve that?” asked Möhring. That was not possible without including conventional energies. Gas-fired power plants in particular were now making a key contribution to stabilizing networks and gas storage facilities helped ensure supply security – the infrastructure was already in place and gas was per se a flexible source of energy with potential power-to-X options. Sector coupling in the field of combined heat and power, where electricity and heat are generated from gas, was already a reality. “But what doesn’t fit into the mainstream of the electrification strategy is currently hushed up in the political debate,” criticized Möhring.

The Management Meeting kicks off the 2017 E-world energy & water, which is Europe’s leading trade fair in the energy industry and attracts more than 20,000 specialist visitors. It’s slogan is “Perspectives for the energy world of tomorrow.” The guests in the talk address the political and economic challenges facing the industry.

More than 700 exhibitors from 25 countries are represented at Germany’s largest energy trade show, which is being held in Essen from 7 to 9 February. WINGAS is represented there again this year with its own stand.

More information at www.wingas.com/en/press/e-world-2017.html

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