Competition and market are pre-requisites for the energy turnaround to succeed | Focus must be on CO2 abatement costs | Renewables must also be subject to competition
Kassel. Gerhard König, Chairman of WINGAS, called for a greater focus on CO2 abatement costs in the implementation of the energy turnaround as the new EEG levy was published today. The energy turnaround had now arrived in the hard reality of implementation, he said. The times in which climate projection goals were announced euphorically and subsidy mechanisms developed without taking into account the costs for the German economy and for each and every individual – citizens and companies – were over, the chairman said.
“In order to ensure effective and affordable climate protection, the focus must be on CO2 abatement costs,” König said. This was the only way to protect the climate long-term without encumbering consumers with the excessive burden of financing certain politically-backed technologies. “Policy-makers must finally realize that renewables are not always the most cost-effective way of avoiding CO2,” König said.
According to WINGAS, the proposed new provisions for the EEG levy announced last week by German environment minister Altmaier go in the right direction with their commitment to the market and openness to different forms of technology. “Competition must finally take place among the renewables as well,” König underlined. In particular, the basic understanding that the subsidizing of renewables, which are now well established, had to come to an end in the foreseeable future, was to be welcomed.
But competition, market and technology openness had to be thought through systematically. “In this competition for the lowest CO2 abatement costs, renewables must be measured against the costs of the alternatives. If this competition is taken seriously, the answer will often be natural gas,” König underlined. In addition, gas was often the most cost-effective complementary energy for renewables. But it was certainly misguided and would distort competition if renewables quotas were to be set for the time after 2020 now too.
The heating market in particular offered considerable potential for natural gas with policies that are open to different technologies. “Natural gas-based heating systems are the most cost-effective way in the foreseeable future of decreasing emissions of greenhouse gases,” König firmly believes. There was also enormous potential to cut down on CO2 accompanied by low CO2 abatement costs in the mobility sector.
The energy source natural gas could make a key contribution to shaping the energy turnaround ecologically and economically. “The acknowledgement that CO2 abatement costs will be the main yardstick for our energy policies in future turns the focus to natural gas. Otherwise the energy turnaround will be unaffordable,” König said.