New 10% renewables priority

A doubling of the contribution of renewables to national primary energy consumption -- to 10% by 2010 -- is a central pillar of Germany's national climate protection program announced on October 18. The long term target is 50% of energy consumption by 2050. The program, however, introduces no new support measures for renewables, nor does it include technology specific targets. The existing measures it will rely on to reach the 10% target include the renewable energy law, which obliges utilities to purchase all green power at a fixed price, the Erneuerbare-Energie Gesetz introduced in April 2000; the market introduction program for renewables from 1998 aimed particularly at the use of solar collectors and promoting rational energy use; the 100,000 solar rooftops campaign and the Solar 2000 campaign; and the longer term federal energy research program, which kick started the wind market and from which older wind turbines still receive payment for their output, this year amounting to DEM 31.5 million from an overall budget of DEM 230 million. In 2001, the budget will be DEM 310 million, including DEM 100 million for the future energy development program. Germany is seriously lagging behind in its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by 25% by 2005, compared with 1990 levels, and the six green house gases in the Kyoto protocol by 21% by 2008-2012 compared with 1990 and 1995 levels, dependent on the gas. Existing measures are expected to reduce CO2 by 18-20%, with new efforts on energy saving and CHP expected to make up the gap. The CO2 savings must come from three sectors: private buildings; energy and industry; and transport. Shortfalls from any one sector must be made up by another sector.

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