The Politics and Policy of Carbon Capture and Storage
Edited by James Meadowcroft and Oluf Langhelle
Chapter 6: Electricity Gap versus Climate Change: Electricity Politics and the Potential Role of CCS in Germany
1 Barbara Praetorius and Christoph von Stechow GERMANY’S EMERGING ELECTRICITY POLICY DILEMMA 1 Over the past decade Germany has been an international climate policy leader. It has formulated ambitious targets for reducing national CO2 emissions: in 2007, the government declared that by 2020 emissions would be reduced by 40 per cent from 1990. It hopes to reach this target with a set of 29 policies and measures launched in December 2007 and June 2008 (the Integrated Energy and Climate Programme, IECP). The policy programme aims to encourage energy efficiency, renewable energy and cogeneration and includes additional measures on both the supply and the demand sides (BMWi 2008b). The German electricity system is highly carbon intensive: 43 per cent of CO2 emissions are related to electricity overwhelmingly generated in large fossil fuel-fired plants. Coal, in particular lignite, is a major domestic energy resource which dominates electricity generation, providing almost half of total electricity (BMWi 2008a). Nuclear energy, currently the next most important pillar of electricity generation with some 25 per cent, is slated to be phased out by 2025. The share of gas-based power generation is likely to increase, but this faces difficulties due to infrastructural constraints and rising prices. Electricity from renewable energy, in particular from wind turbines, has increased its share to 15 per cent in 2008 and, after installation of major offshore wind farms, is expected to deliver around 25–30 per cent of electricity supply by 2020. Another specific characteristic of the German electricity system is the...
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