Green electricity - Vaccine against the climate crisis
The latest study on the cost development of electricity from renewable energies by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems once again proves the economic opportunities of a consistently implemented energy transition. Wind and solar plants already have significantly lower levelized cost of electricity than conventional power plants. Rising CO2prices and falling technology costs, including for electricity storage, are finally making renewables a decisive element in the fight against the climate crisis. However, German energy policy continues to prevent the necessary acceleration of expansion and ignores the fact that green electricity is a cheap and unlimited vaccine against the climate crisis.
Climate protection cannot be achieved with the CDU and CSU. The self-proclaimed economic party continues to prevent an expansion path of renewable energies appropriate to the situation. And this despite the fact that the positive economic effects are undisputed, this is once again made clear by the study “Levelized Cost of Electricity of Renewable Energies” published by the Fraunhofer Institute on June 22. Electricity from photovoltaic systems can already be generated in Germany from 3.12 cents/kWh. Armin Laschet would explain to us at this point that unfortunately no sun shines at night and that we will therefore still need coal-fired power plants until 2038 that generate electricity at prices of 10 – 15 cents/kWh, and the trend is rising. The fact that hybrid systems consisting of electricity storage systems and PV systems are already competitive today is ignored. Looking to the future, it becomes clear how drastically the competitive advantage of renewables is increasing. As early as 2030, electricity from lignite-fired power plants will be uneconomical, and electricity generation from a PV battery system will be cheaper than from a combined cycle power plant by then, the researchers predict. In 2040, even small PV battery systems can achieve levelized electricity costs of between 5 and 12 cents/kWh, provided that the prices for battery storage systems fall to the assumed 200 to 720 EUR/kWh. By then, the levelized cost of solar power will fall to 1.92 cents/kWh for ground-mounted systems, an unimaginable value.
The opportunity behind these figures may not be immediately apparent to everyone. But when we consider that green electricity will become the most important energy source of the future, the dimension becomes clear. In order to maintain our prosperity as we know it, we need an energy source that meets four criteria. It must be affordable. It must be climate-neutral. It must be present in infinite abundance. And it must be applicable in all areas of life. Electricity from renewable energy plants meets all these criteria. With electricity we can heat and cool, it provides electricity for all electrical applications, it can be easily distributed over an existing supply network and future mobility is also electric. Green electricity is therefore becoming a universal and indispensable energy source.
These are only the economic level and the technological reality, the costs of mitigating the consequences of the escalating climate crisis have not yet been considered. To put it bluntly, green electricity is therefore a cheap, always available and basically in any quantity producible vaccine against global warming, the analogy is forgiven me. But the picture is too strong not to be drawn. Like the pandemic, the climate crisis can only be solved globally. We have recognized the problem, the technologies available, all that is missing is consistent action.
One would think that some common sense would be enough to recognize the seriousness of the climate crisis and walk across the golden bridge of renewables. Green electricity for everyone! Not with Armin Laschet and the Union. He is seriously surprised that “for some reason, the climate issue has suddenly become a global issue.” The energy transition is slowed down by the Union out of a complete lack of understanding and blocked wherever possible, and the amendment to the Climate Protection Act forced by the Constitutional Court cannot hide this. You have to imagine that – the highest German court forces the federal government to make a policy that will enable future generations to live on German land. Of course, some industry associations share an almost ludicrous view of climate protection with the chancellor candidate Laschet. “Neither does the climate threaten us so directly, nor do the measures of the law cause climate change ad hoc in such a way that there is not a little more time for a thorough examination and external technical advice,” explains Thomas Mock, chairman of the climate committee of the VIK, an association of large energy consumers from industry. Phew, who explains it to him?
What needs to be done to preserve our livelihoods is undisputed among experts. Climate protection is achieved, among other things, by investments in renewable energies. However, their expansion is stalled by perpetual approval procedures for wind turbines, a lack of space and insufficient tender quantities and conditions in the EEG. Politicians must create a framework for achieving the climate protection targets that have just been adjusted. If you want to be climate-neutral by 2045, you need an energy supply based on 100% renewable energies by 2040 at the latest. The latest study “Climate Neutral Germany 2045” by the Climate Neutrality Foundation and Agora Energiewende has determined what is needed for this in terms of the necessary green electricity capacities: Renewable power plants with a capacity of 30 gigawatts must be built per year. The average expansion since 2005 is just 6.7 GW per annum. In other words, we need to increase the expansion of renewables by a factor of 4.5. It’s time to get started.
Martin Betzold is Brand Manager of Green City AG. His column “This is how it looks!” deals with socio-political issues in the context of the energy andtransport change and the associated changes.
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