Off the tracks

Is the dream of renewable energy already over? To judge from what was said recently one might be forgiven for thinking so.

Almost every speech at the high-level talks of the importance of fossil fuels for energy supply is underlined. And not just by industry representatives, but also by the responsible ministers. The Environment Minister even said: was “against discrimination of fossil fuels”.

Those are just words, but the actions speak even louder. Fact is the use of coal increased substantially last year. Ironically, the additional coal used in the power stations could have been exported, while the export could be counted bringing down our energy-related CO2 emissions to a level not seen before. No wonder some people say our economy is where the real climate change is taking place.

However, it would be premature to write off the governments ambitious energy plan at this stage. We did manage over the past few years to increase renewable energy production to an unprecedented level. This is not an unimportant achievement.

The real question is whether we can build on this success by turning the renewable energy revolution from a subsidy-drain into an engine of technological and economic development. As energy observers note it is a gamble: “No other country can tap such technical expertise from industry or such bottom-up activism from municipalities, companies and citizens’ cooperatives in support of the low-carbon industry.

To prevent the renewable energy industry from becoming permanently sidetracked will require a massive effort and a much greater degree of faith (and coordination) than the current government is displaying. The industry has entered into a precarious, if not chaotic, phase. You can read her assessment of the current energy mood in Berlin by clicking here.

CO2Land apologize for the excitement, but we are not alone!

 

 

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