Clean energy predictions from oil company

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Even by the year 2020 renewable energies will still not be playing a significant role in Germany's energy supply, according to the latest annual forecast by oil giant Esso. Clean energy will account for just 5% of primary energy consumption or 22 million tonnes of coal equivalent in 2020, compared with a share in 1997 of 1.8% , or 8.9 million tonnes coal equivalent. "Renewable energies have only limited room for action due to their comparably high costs," claims Esso. It also says Germany will not achieve its CO2 target of reducing emissions by 25% by 2005, compared with 1990 levels. It predicts that a cut of 14.5% will be achieved by 2005, 15.5% by 2010 and 16.5% by 2020. Esso assumes partial replacement of German nuclear reactors with gas and coal fired power stations over the coming years. This substitution of nuclear with fossil fuel will annul efforts to reduce CO2 emissions through energy saving, Esso says. By 2010, one third of Germany's nuclear capacity will have reached its technical lifespan of 40 years and will be due to close. While nuclear's contribution is predicted to fall to 39 million tonnes of coal equivalent in 2020, from 63.4 million tonnes in 1997, gas is expected to increase from 103 to 126 million tonnes coal equivalent and coal from 69.7 million tonnes to 71 million tonnes. Amongst other findings, the report concludes that energy consumption in Germany will fall to 473 million tonnes coal equivalent in 2020 from 495 million tonnes coal equivalent in 1997 despite steady economic growth.

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