EWG Newsletter 9 - November 2016
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Germany Falls Behind on Climate Targets |
IEA Lowballs Renewables | Offshore Wind Booms 


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The Paris Climate Agreement came into force on November, 4 - three years earlier than planned. Now it is time to deliver and the Energy Watch Group has analysed for you the climate and energy policy of Germany. Our new study shows that the current German targets are too weak and inadequate in the light of the global 1,5 C target. To deliver on Paris targets, Germany needs to introduce a zero-carbon economy as soon as 2030. Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency (IEA) still heavily underestimates the growth potential of solar PV and wind energy, our analysis of the IEA’s Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016 shows. The good news comes from scientists: The Lappeenranta University of Technology has launched the first of its kind model, which simulates the world fulfilling the Paris Agreement targets. Read more in our newsletter. 
Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an international network of scientists and parliamentarians. We commission research projects and publish independent studies on global energy developments. Our mission is to provide energy policy - and you via this newsletter - with objective information on global energy developments!

Global Energy News

EWG: Germany Needs Zero-Carbon Economy To Meet Paris Agreement Goal
Germany’s current climate targets are too weak to meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement, and the German government is on track to missing even these weak climate targets, a new study by the Energy Watch Group and the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) Germany shows. The study German Climate Policy – from leader to laggard’ was launched on November 4, as the Paris Agreement has entered into force. The study proves that since 2010 Germany has been continuously surpassing its emissions reduction pathway. Especially, transport, electricity and the agricultural sector contributed to this transgression. The study’s authors call to aim for a zero-carbon economy as early as 2030 and the creation of effective carbon sinks, mostly by agriculture and forestry. The study is currently available only in German. 

National Emissions of all greenhouse gases 1990-2015. Y-axis shows GHG-Emissions, (Mt CO2-equiv). The sectors, causing the most emissions: electricity, mobility and agriculture. 
As the row over Germany’s trimmed-down Climate Action Plan still goes on, numerous voices have called on the former climate leader to set an example by setting clear and ambitious targets - among others a group of more than 40 German companies, including Metro, Adidas and Puma. In late October, German ministers said they see little chance for the country to be switching off its coal plants before 2040.
IEA’s Renewables Forecast - Old Wine in New Bottles

The International Energy Agency (IEA) still heavily underestimates the growth of wind and solar PV energy in its Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2016, the Energy Watch Group analysis shows. Despite increasing its projections for renewable energy capacity by 13% from the last forecast in 2015, the new IEA figures, which cover the period to 2021, still suggest that annual installations of wind energy and solar PV will peak in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and will not grow from then on. “Assuming a declining annual market for solar and wind in the next five years, knowing it’s the least cost source of electricity. Sorry, even my grandmother would not believe this,” Dr. Christian Breyer, Professor of Solar Economy at Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland and Chairman of the EWG Scientific Board commented in an interview to Carbon Brief .
“We call on the IEA to urgently review its assumptions and to finally make realistic projections in its forthcoming World Energy Outlook,” EWG President and former Member of the German Parliament Hans-Josef Fell said. In its 2015 series of studies, the EWG together with the Lappeenranta University of Technology proved that the IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook reports between 1994 and 2015 had published misleading projections on renewable energy. 

Offshore Wind Energy Sector is Booming 
Last year, renewable energy has for the first time accounted for more than half of new power generation capacity worldwide. Offshore wind farms in Europe are booming, the Guardian reports. In 2016, newly installed offshore wind energy capacity is expected to double to 3.7GW compared to 2015. A major driver of this trend have been falling production costs for wind energy. A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) projects that offshore wind could grow by an impressive 650% by 2030 due falling costs and tech innovations. Illustrating the momentum, Dong Energy, a Danish company originally set up to manage Denmark’s oilfields, is considering the sale of its oil and gas business to focus entirely on wind power.  

“Annual installed offshore wind capacity in Europe, measured in megawatts. H1 and H2 represent installation in the first and second half of each year. Photograph: Wind Europe"

Science Update

UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2016: Countries Need To Raise Ambition Before 2020

The UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2016 revealed a gap between international commitments made by governments and the emissions reductions that are required to stay below a dangerous temperature rise. The door will close on the 1,5 C warming limit, unless countries raise their ambition before 2020, Carbon Brief reports. Current efforts such as the Paris Agreement, or the Kigali Amendment will contribute to slowing climate change, but will not do so “nearly enough and not fast enough”.
First of its Kind Global 100% Renewable Electricity System Launched

The Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) has launched a unique model that simulates the world, fulfilling the Paris Agreement targets. The model shows the functioning of a global electricity system in 2030, based entirely on renewable energy sources. The model is designed to find the most economical solution for a renewable electricity system. It shows how the supply of electricity can be organised to cover the electricity demand for all hours of the given year. It finds the best mix of renewable energy generation, storage and transmission components to cover the electricity demand, leading to total electricity cost roughly between 55 and 70 euros per megawatt-hour for all 9 major regions in the world. The researchers plan to develop the model further by integrating the full energy sector, including heat and mobility sectors. "With this simulation, anyone can explore what a renewable electricity system would look like. This is the first time scientists have been able to do this on a global scale." Christian Breyer, LUT Solar Economy Professor, leading scientist behind the model and the EWG chairman of the scientific board said.

Photo: The global Internet of Energy Model, Lapeenranta University of Technology, Finland.

EWG News

Energy Watch Group Keeps On Growing 

As our international network of scientists and parliamentarians is growing, we are happy to announce our new members:
  • Hanna Kosonen, Member of the Finnish Parliament
  • Dr. Alex Ryabchyn, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament
  • Dr. José Luis Cordeiro, Singularity University and Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
Welcome on board!
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