Germany can cut CO2 emissions to near zero by 2050: govt agency

11 October 2013 16:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany can reduce its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to near zero by 2050, the country’s federal environmental agency said on Friday, citing a study.

To achieve the goal of a greenhouse gas-neutral society, Germany would produce 100% of its electricity power from renewables, mainly solar and wind, according to the study by the Umweltbundesamt (UBA).

Innovative power-to-gas and power-to-liquids electrolysis technologies would then turn the renewable electricity into hydrogen, methane and fuels.

The hydrogen, methane and fuels would be used to produce diesel or gasoline, they would replace natural gas heating, and they would be raw materials for the chemicals industry, the agency said.

Under the UBA’s study scenario, solar and wind power would thus “provide the basis for the production of hydrogen, methane and more complex hydrocarbons,” it said.

In the long term, raw materials such as naphtha, petroleum derivatives and natural gas could all be replaced by renewably generated methane or complex hydrocarbons, the agency added.

The UBA said that Germany has already demonstrated the technologies in a number of pilot projects. However, currently those processes had high “conversion losses” and were still very expensive, it said.

The UBA’s study scenario for Germany is not based on the use of nuclear power or the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Also, the study rejects the use of biomass crops for energy purposes.

Biomass to energy does not offer a viable solution because it is not sustainable and would lead to competition for agricultural land between food and energy producers, the agency said.

Further information about the study is available on the UBA’s website.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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