Germany’s energy revolution on verge of collapse

Fred Pearce January 2014 New Scientist

Germany’s energy revolution has gone sour, as have its efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2020, mostly by closing coal-fired power plants and boosting renewable energy. Yet in 2013, coal burning soared to its highest level for more than 20 years.

Then, last week, economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said he will slash wind and solar subsidies by a third, to cut rising energy bills. Subsidies for renewables currently cost German consumers €23 billion a year.

Merkel is also shutting down Germany’s nuclear power plants, its largest source of low-carbon energy. This means emissions, which had fallen by 27 per cent by 2011, are now on the rise.

Germany’s energy revolution has gone sour, as have its efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2020, mostly by closing coal-fired power plants and boosting renewable energy. Yet in 2013, coal burning soared to its highest level for more than 20 years.

Then, last week, economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said he will slash wind and solar subsidies by a third, to cut rising energy bills. Subsidies for renewables currently cost German consumers €23 billion a year.

Merkel is also shutting down Germany’s nuclear power plants, its largest source of low-carbon energy. This means emissions, which had fallen by 27 per cent by 2011, are now on the rise.

Germany’s energy revolution has gone sour, as have its efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent between 1990 and 2020, mostly by closing coal-fired power plants and boosting renewable energy. Yet in 2013, coal burning soared to its highest level for more than 20 years.

Then, last week, economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said he will slash wind and solar subsidies by a third, to cut rising energy bills. Subsidies for renewables currently cost German consumers €23 billion a year.

Merkel is also shutting down Germany’s nuclear power plants, its largest source of low-carbon energy. This means emissions, which had fallen by 27 per cent by 2011, are now on the rise.

Read the rest of the article here.

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