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Wind-on-Land Act – will the pace of expansion continue? Last week, the Wind on Land Act came into force. Nationwide, two per cent of land must now be designated for wind turbines. The law was passed last summer under great pressure. On 8 June, Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) presented two bills for acceleration. Environmental associations were barely given time to comment; civil servants had to work night shifts. The following week, the cabinet approved the drafts. They were passed before the summer break. The year 2023 will show whether the „German pace“ proclaimed by Chancellor Olaf Scholz applies not only to LNG terminals but also to the expansion of wind power. By 2030, an average of four to five wind turbines per day would have to be built to achieve the climate targets, said Chancellor Scholz. In future, talks would be held every month with the federal states on how much progress they had made. What is not achieved on time must be made up for, the SPD politician continued. deutschlandfunk.de, taz.de
Goodbye to the 1.5 degree target: According to the Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook, we will probably have to say goodbye to the 1.5 degree target. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is currently not realistic, as a new, central study by the Cluster of Excellence „Climate, Climatic Change, and Society“ (CLICCS) at the University of Hamburg shows. Climate policy, protests and the Ukraine crisis: the researchers involved have systematically examined the extent to which societal changes are already underway – and in doing so have also analysed certain physical processes that are often discussed as tipping points. Their conclusion: social change is indispensable to achieve the temperature targets set in Paris. However, what has been achieved so far is insufficient. For the report, 63 experts from different disciplines examined ten important social drivers – because while meeting the 1.5 degree target would be feasible from a purely physical point of view, it would require deeper societal changes. The bottom line is that international cooperation, media or climate protests are on the right track, but simply not potent enough, the report says. Individual consumption and corporate behaviour also work against climate protection. cliccs.uni-hamburg.de
15 million devices
were removed from the market by the Federal Network Agency last year. Last year, the Federal Network Agency took more than 15 million products off the market that either do not have a CE marking, interfere with radio traffic, can endanger consumers or operate in impermissible laser classes. This was announced by the Federal Network Agency. According to the agency, the online market surveillance of the Federal Network Agency identified more than 2,600 suspicious offers in 2022 and had them removed from the corresponding sales platforms. These included more than 13 million devices. bundesnetzagentur.de
Climate interactions across continents: The Amazon region, the sea ice or even the North Atlantic current are tipping elements in the Earth’s climate system. When a certain threshold is reached, they can abruptly tip over into a new state of equilibrium. Already, parts of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic could be approaching such a tipping point, the North Atlantic Current has reached a historically unprecedented state of weakness, and the Amazon rainforest is also close to tipping over from rainforest to savannah. Even more serious, however, is that these tipping elements are not isolated, but closely interconnected via feedbacks. If one of these switches flips, this could trigger a whole cascade of tipping points that could unbalance the entire climate system in a domino effect. This was revealed in a study by researchers from Beijing Normal University and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). „To be clear, it is unlikely that the climate system as a whole will tip,“ reassures co-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of PIK. „But subcontinental tipping events can hit entire societies hard over time and threaten important parts of the biosphere.“ scinexx.de
Dispute over blending: Mineral oil companies are currently allowed to blend so-called biofuels from food and animal feed plants into their petrol in order to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These include, for example, oil from rapeseed or bioethanol from grain. Fuel producers are allowed to meet 4.4 percent of their greenhouse gas reduction obligation in this way. The Green Minister for the Environment, Steffi Lemke, wants to abolish this option by 2030. The Environment Ministry justifies the initiative, among other things, with the price increase for food after the Russian attack on Ukraine. But the FDP is against the bill. „The proposal by Environment Minister Lemke runs counter to climate protection,“ says FDP parliamentary group vice-chair Lukas Köhler. The proposed compensations are „eyewash“. taz.de
Why a coal phase-out in 2030 would be possible: Even with a complete early coal phase-out by 2030, a secure electricity supply would be guaranteed. This is the conclusion of a report by the Federal Network Agency. It has not been politically decided for the east – and it could also be legally difficult to bring forward the coal phase-out from 2038 to 2030. So for the time being, the only way to achieve the phase-out is through the electricity market. The report of the Federal Network Agency, which was published last week, states several times on more than 100 pages that a coal phase-out by 2030 is assumed in the scenarios, even though the current coalition agreement only mentions the phase-out date with the epithet „ideally“. At the same time, the report makes it clear that this can only work if a whole series of framework conditions are met. klimareporter.de , spiegel.de , original report
The Last Generation demands a social council: Activists of the Last Generation want not only the Bundestag to make climate policy, but also a panel of citizens selected by lot. For some, this is an anti-democratic demand. Yet the federal government has set out very similar ideas in its coalition agreement. However, in the opinion of the Last Generation, the results of the citizens‘ councils organised in Germany so far too often end up in the drawers of parties and ministries instead of finding their way into laws. Therefore, their demand is that governments commit themselves in advance of the citizens‘ councils to implementing the results regardless of their content. rnd.de
BOOK TIP OF THE WEEK:
Die Wunderwelt der Pfützen
A tribute to the smallest body of water on earth
Unique, one-of-a-kind and quickly ephemeral – each puddle is its own little ecosystem full of life. These inconspicuous but significant waterholes are sometimes annoying and harbour dangers – on the other hand, they are useful for many creatures and reflect our world in wondrous shapes and colours. So they not only fascinate children, but also naturalists, artists and writers.
Journalists Ursula Kosser and Susanne Bergius describe the relevance of temporary bodies of water for nature and increasingly overheated cities, for us humans, for history and the present. Their research also brings to light: puddles are threatened – by humans and by their demands on nature. With magnificent photos, the authors show the fascination of this wet wonderland, which must be preserved and strengthened – a homage to the smallest body of water on earth. oekom.de
Huge profits: Shell earns 38 billion euros because of the war. n-tv.de
EU: The USA wants to invest 370 billion dollars in green technologies. EU Commission President reacts with countermeasures. tagesschau.de
Eon CEO: Calls on private consumers to save. welt.de
Norway: How the Scandinavian country relies on unusual wind power plants. t3n.de
Fracking in Germany: Why Lower Saxony is blocking its „own treasure“. wiwo.de
Wind turbines: Why they are getting bigger and bigger. klimareporter.de
Mercosur Agreement: EU Greens criticise climate unfriendliness. web.de
Energy transition investments: More than one trillion dollars for the first time in 2022. cleanthinking.de
The seventeeen goals magazine tells inspiring stories about how people move the world and shows how everyone can make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
PODCAST OF THE WEEK:
Having children despite the climate crisis?
Johanna has „climate fear“ and cannot imagine bringing children into this world. Marit has a young son and sometimes gets stuck as a climate activist. Here they talk about family planning in the crisis. Marit Schatzmann has a son who will soon be three years old. And she can imagine having more children, although she takes the climate crisis just as seriously as Johanna. Why do they draw different conclusions? How widespread is the fear that one’s own children will not have a future worth living? Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck is also concerned about this question; he said in an interview with SPIEGEL: „Understandably, the climate crisis is a reality. Are these fears so strong that they are still driving demographic change? Or would it even be better for the climate not to have children? We talk about this in the Climate Report Podcast, together with Johanna, Marit and the population researcher Martin Bujard. spiegel.de
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Alarmism, Climate and Markus Lanz
by David Zauner
…The reality of climate change is terrifying. So is it counterproductive to present the facts as they are? Does that have a paralysing and overwhelming effect and inhibit overdue social change? No, says social psychologist Fritsche. In the past, this was assumed to be the case, but recent studies have shown that the reaction to action tends to increase when more fear is communicated. However, this is only the case if solutions are also presented in parallel. Successful climate communication must therefore convey the scientific facts and show what can be done about climate change. The solutions, however, must not rely solely on individual action. Climate change is a global phenomenon. And as with any global phenomenon, it is quite difficult to convince an individual that their own everyday actions are effective. So instead of encouraging individuals to recycle or cycle, good climate communication should rather show which political initiatives lead to a sustainable transformation and how they can be supported. For Fritsche it is clear: „Without restriction, this transformation will not succeed.“ This is basically not being talked about, he says. „Restrictions“ – no other point is given such a wide berth in climate communication. klimareporter.de
What the Deutschlandticket will do for the climate: The Deutschlandticket is to be launched on 1 May 2023. In their study, the German transport associations estimate that the nine-euro ticket has prevented around 600,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per month; extrapolated to the year, that would be around seven million tonnes. „That would be a clearly noticeable effect,“ but „not yet what we need to achieve the climate goals,“ says Thorsten Koska of the think tank Wuppertal Institute. Overall, the transport sector in Germany causes CO2 emissions of more than 160 million tonnes per year. However, the climate balance of the 49-euro ticket is likely to be worse than that of the nine-euro ticket, as it will probably encourage significantly fewer people to switch to public transport. deutschlandfunk.de
How aviation can be decarbonised: Electric propulsion systems for aviation for aviation are still in their infancy. Due to the high energy density of liquid fuels, aircraft will continue to rely on burning fuel for a long time. How could it nevertheless be possible to make the aviation industry climate-neutral by 2050? A study in the current issue of the journal Nature Sustainability provides answers. The decarbonisation of air transport requires, firstly, the development of more efficient and lighter aircraft and, secondly, the production of alternative fuels. In addition, statistically speaking, each person in 2050 would have to fly 12 percent fewer kilometres than the average person in 2019. More on the topic at Deutschlandfunk
A new chapter in aviation: a few weeks before the big goodbye to the 747, Boeing and Nasa announced a major partnership, the Sustainable Flight Demonstrator Project, to build an adventurous-looking single-engine plane that promises to reduce the fuel consumption of commercial aircraft. The new plane looks like a giant glider with long, slender wings supported by diagonal struts to reduce drag. focus.de
EU record for e-vehicle registrations: Battery-powered vehicles achieved a market share of twelve percent in new registrations in the EU last year. The share of pure electric cars rose by three percentage points to its highest level ever. Plug-in hybrids came to almost 23 percent, as the European industry association Acea announced today. Internal combustion engines still account for the largest share of car drives. tagesschau.de
Munich: A driving ban for old diesel cars has been in force in parts of the Bavarian capital since February. A first lawsuit against this is already underway. heise.de
Night trains: More train connections are to link Berlin with Scandinavia. rbb24.de
Green hydrogen produced from seawater: An international team of scientists has succeeded in efficiently producing hydrogen from salt water. The novel electrolyser could make it possible in the future to convert seawater, which is available in gigantic quantities, into fuel that does not form CO₂ during combustion. Until now, the splitting of salt water was very complex and cost-intensive. It had to be purified and alkalised. However, the new method now makes these steps superfluous, and this could make energy production from the oceans profitable. After all, the researchers have succeeded in achieving an efficiency of 100 per cent in the conversion. The new environmentally friendly form of hydrogen production should represent a significant step for climate protection. t3n.de
Green hydrogen from Australia: Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger and Australia’s Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced today in Berlin the four projects selected as part of the joint funding initiative „German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator“ (HyGATE). The aim is to establish a complete supply chain for green hydrogen. w3windmesse.de
Hydrogen roadmaps in comparison: federal states pursue different strategies. sonnenseite.com
Cost comparison: This is how hydrogen is to come to Germany cheaply. Germany wants to convert many industries to hydrogen. Companies pay high transport costs for this – because the cheapest transport route is proven. handelsblatt.com
Gigantic green energy park in Denmark supplies hydrogen, heat and electricity: One of the largest green energy parks in the world is being built in western Denmark by 2030. Among other things, the park will supply one million tonnes of hydrogen per year, as well as heat and electricity. The cost: 8 billion euros. ingenieur.de
How artificial fertiliser can become climate-friendly: Ammonia is needed as a raw material for fertiliser and as a form of hydrogen transport. But its production gobbles up a lot of energy. A forest-green molecular chain could solve the problem. sueddeutsche.de
LAST WEEK IN THE BUNDESTAG:
Federal Government against trophy hunting: The Federal Government has terminated its membership in the Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) as of 31 December 2022 because „the trophy evaluation system developed by the CIC continues to be an important focus of its work“. This contradicts the political orientation, writes the German government in its answer (20/5319) to a minor question (20/5050) of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. There is widespread social criticism of trophy hunting. In addition, the CIC had recently repeatedly publicly opposed a ban on the import of trophies sought by various European countries. Furthermore, the CIC has criticised the decision of the British government to ban the import of hunting trophies of endangered game species. This criticism of European partners could „in no way be supported“ by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Finally, budgetary reasons had also played a role in the decision to withdraw from the CIC. For the BMEL, project-related, targeted funding has priority over institutional funding. On the other hand, institutional funding through the payment of membership fees should only be of secondary importance.
Regular monitoring of the expansion of the charging infrastructure: According to the Federal Government, there is regular monitoring of the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Germany. This is stated in the government’s answer (20/5322) to a small question by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group (20/5053). With the Master Plan Charging Infrastructure II, the Federal Government is pursuing an overall strategy for the development of a nationwide, demand-oriented and user-friendly charging infrastructure network, the answer states. In order to determine demand, target corridors based, among other things, on the vehicle ramp-up and the expected developments in the field of technology, such as charging speed or battery size, are determined and regularly updated. The government also mentions the installed charging capacity as another factor. According to the answer, the need for publicly accessible charging infrastructure also depends on how much non-publicly accessible charging infrastructure is available. „Accordingly, regular monitoring of the expansion of the charging infrastructure in Germany is carried out,“ the submission states.
Scenario for gas-fired power plants until 2030: The German government expects total gas consumption to decline in the coming years as more and more households switch to heat pumps. However, more gas will be needed for electricity generation to meet the increasing demand from e-mobility. Forecasts on utilisation in 2025 and 2030 are to be provided by the Federal Network Agency’s supply security monitoring, which will be „published promptly“, according to the Federal Government’s answer (20/5400) to a minor question (20/5007) by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.
Union wants to strengthen the use of recycled building materials: The CDU/CSU parliamentary group calls for strengthening the use of recycled building materials. Such building materials should be put on an equal legal footing with primary building materials, according to a motion (20/5220), which will be debated for the first time in the Bundestag in the coming session week. The MPs write that the federal government should promptly create uniform federal regulations in conformity with European law „on the end of waste status“ for all mineral waste, so that quality-assured recycled building materials lose the legal status of waste. In addition, the Substitute Building Materials Ordinance must be reviewed and optimised with a view to material flow shifts, recycling rates as well as practicability and cost increases in the construction sector. Furthermore, the federal government should refrain from the „zero-fibre policy“ in order to increase the potential of recycled gypsum and concrete through legally secure limit values, the motion continues.
Housing is the social issue of our time. I know many young people who have just started a family and they can’t find anything. In addition, a few days ago the SPD Minister of Construction, Geywitz, announced that the target of planned new buildings cannot be met. That’s why we now have to make even more urgent progress on tenant protection.
Ricarda Lang, leader of the Green Party …50 percent of housing should be in an area where it is affordable. The federal government must take the lead so that the Länder and municipalities can take action: The rent brake had to be tightened up, as there were still far too many exceptions. The municipalities need more room for manoeuvre and legal certainty when it comes to the right of first refusal. And it is necessary to create a new non-profit housing association so that more permanently affordable housing is created in Germany. Exchanging flats should become much easier, if it is desired. There are, for example, older people in large flats who would like to move because they no longer want to use and heat all their rooms, and on the other hand young families who urgently need an extra room. It would be good if they could easily swap flats with each other and both could stay in their familiar neighbourhood at fair rents. This should be legally possible without much effort, and here too the federal government could ensure a right to exchange flats. berliner-zeitung.de
Pope Francis in Congo: More than one million people at Mass. Pope Francis has travelled to Africa for the fifth time. He received an enthusiastic welcome in Congo’s capital Kinshasa, where more than one million people attended a mass. The Pope called for an end to violence on the African continent. tagesschau.de
Food crisis in Angola: The Federal Government reports on the food situation of the population in Angola in its answer (20/5399) to a small question of the AfD parliamentary group (20/5064). According to this, the food situation in the southwest of Angola, especially in the three southern princes of Cunene, Namibe and Huila, is „critical“ due to a prolonged drought that extends far beyond the normal rainfall cycle. According to the federal government, a study conducted under the EU’s Fresan programme shows that in 2021, a total of 3.8 million people were affected in the above three provinces, of whom 1.3 million were highly food insecure. „According to the report, the situation of 114,000 children aged up to five years with acute malnutrition was particularly worrying,“ the response continues. Overall, there had been a proportion of 37.6 per cent of chronically malnourished people in the population in 2021.
Hydrogen from Namibia: Besides Australia, a new partner is pushing itself to the fore: Namibia. According to experts, the African country is predestined for the production of renewable energy. With around 3,500 hours of sunshine per year, it has three times the amount of sunshine possible in the best German locations. And the wind in the coastal country is strong and steady. In addition, there is a vast, sparsely populated area, shaped by the Namib and Kalahari deserts. From 2025, the Namibian government plans to produce green hydrogen and sell it all over the world – including to customers in Germany. Because the Federal Republic of Germany, not blessed with the sun, vastness and wind of the African Atlantic coast, urgently needs green gas. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has also approached the Namibian government and, as Namibia’s (incidentally first) government partner, has concluded a governmental cooperation agreement on green hydrogen. process.vogel.de
South Africa – International partnerships for a just energy transition: Equitable energy transitions in the Global South have recently been pursued through a partnership approach. Framework agreement for first partnership (JETP) 2021 concluded between the G7 and South Africa. Partnership on an equal footing and on a reciprocal basis is an alternative to the usual linking of funding to conditions. Agreement on political goals, norms and legitimate participation of international partners in national policy processes facilitate cooperation and climate policy change. In any case, cooperation between international actors requires the creation of an institutional framework. JETP funding for South Africa, initially pledged for a period of three to five years, amounts to 8.5 billion US dollars. Most of this is to be provided through loans, a smaller part through grants. An International Partners Group (IPG) was formed, consisting of the donors involved (France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union). On the South African side, a contact person has been appointed with a mandate to lead negotiations with donors, coordinate government agencies and advise government institutions on the feasibility of the JETP bid. diw.de
Development partners to pledge $30 billion to boost food production in Africa: The week before last Friday, development partners at the Dakar 2 Summit in Senegal pledged $30 billion in investments to boost food production in Africa and support the continent’s transformation into the breadbasket of the world.The summit, which took place from 25 to 27. January under the theme „Feed Africa: food sovereignty and resilience“, was organised by the Senegalese government and the African Development Bank and attended by a wide range of personalities, including 34 heads of state and government, 70 ministers and development partners committed to improving and transforming agriculture in Africa. reuters.com
How old mines can store energy: Old mines could help to balance out power surpluses and store energy – with the help of sand and gravity, researchers suggest. If sand is lowered down a mine shaft via a lift system, a connected generator produces electricity that can be fed into the power grid. If, on the other hand, there is a surplus of electricity, this can be used to bring the sand deposited in the mine back to the surface. Worldwide, such mine storage facilities would have a capacity of up to 70 terawatt hours. scinexx.de
How climate change and natural disasters affect the human psyche: Floods on the other side of the world. Overall, extreme weather events have caused great damage in Australia in recent years – and left clear traces on the mental health of the population. Down Under is considered a test laboratory of climate change: in 2022 alone, the continent was hit by almost 50 natural disasters, including floods, storms and bushfires. According to a Climate Council survey supported by Beyond Blue, a mental health organisation, the majority of people in Australia have already witnessed a natural disaster. Alarmingly, half of those surveyed said their mental health had been affected by the particular extreme weather event they experienced. The most common mental health consequences were anxiety, followed by symptoms suggestive of depression or even PTSD. Overall, people in rural regions were significantly more affected than people in the city. rnd.de
How the climate crisis is slowing down migration: Too poor to leave – in many regions of the world, climate change is contributing to a deterioration in people’s living conditions. According to current forecasts, this could lead to growing migration flows. But a new study states that the reverse can also be true: Especially in the poorest countries, the climate crisis reduces incomes so much that people there lack the means to emigrate. They therefore mostly stay in their country despite hardship. „Remarkably, there is hardly any increased migration between Africa and Europe or between South and Southeast Asia and Europe, North America and Oceania,“ report Albano Rikani and his colleagues from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). natur.de
Artificial fertiliser: How it can become more climate-friendly. sueddeutsche.de
Viessmann: How a classic heating company wants to reinvent itself. wiwo.de
A topsy-turvy world: In the USA, it is mainly Republican states that are backing renewables. handelsblatt.com
Green technologies: How industry wants to become climate-neutral. deutschlandfunk.de
Energy Dialogue 2023 | The BEE platform for implementing the energy transition
Winter 2023/2024 is the real challenge for the energy industry. But what does the 2023 political agenda look like? How can we speed up the energy transition so that renewables take on more responsibility for a secure supply? In order to move forward quickly, dialogue between the energy industry and politics is essential. To this end, the BEE has now launched its ENERGIEDIALOG.
Date: 9 February 2023 Time: 16:00 till 18:00 Place: online
On 9 February 2023, the focus will be on the implementation of the energy transition and the security of energy supply. BEE President Dr Simone Peter will open the event with an impulse and outline the expectations of the RE sectors for a forced energy transition. Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Dr. Robert Habeck will deliver the keynote speech on energy policy 2023 at the ENERGIEDIALOG and will also actively participate in the subsequent panel discussion with representatives from the industry.
(Green) hydrogen between climate protection and a geopolitical turning point
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation cordially invites you to the presentation and discussion of the study results „Building partnerships for an international hydrogen economy“ within the framework of an online event. The starting points for policy in Europe and Germany will be discussed with guests.
Date: 14 February 2023 Time: 13:00 till 14:30 Place: online via zoom
Hydrogen technology has a key role to play in the transformation to a climate-neutral economy – especially in fields of application that cannot be electrified. The emergence of a green hydrogen economy is also associated with prospects for new industrial value creation.
Most estimates assume that even with an ambitious expansion of renewable energies, large quantities of the German & European hydrogen demand will have to be imported. International energy policy is increasingly moving in the area of tension of geopolitical conflicts. International cooperation between Germany, the EU and potential partner countries is therefore indispensable to enable the development of an international hydrogen economy.
In the new FES discourse „Building partnerships for an international hydrogen Economy: Entry-points for European policy action„, the authors of the Research Institute for Sustainability – Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (RIFS) first formulate six policy target dimensions that European decision-makers should pay particular attention to when building these international partnerships: Climate protection, the development of green industries in Europe, equitable transitions in partner countries, geopolitics, security of supply and economic feasibility. Based on this, they formulate nine messages on how to develop an international hydrogen economy as part of broader EU efforts towards decarbonisation.
Further information on the study can be found here.
Instead of solar power – Rolls-Royce builds mini nuclear power plant for the moon:
Rolls-Royce Holdings GmbH published a design for a mini nuclear reactor. This is to contribute to the power supply in space in the future. The plant is being planned in cooperation with the UK Space Agency.The use of nuclear power in space is nothing new. In various past projects, the US space agency NASA generated electricity from nuclear energy. Most of these were radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which generate electricity from the heat of nuclear decay. Real nuclear reactors, as we know them from nuclear power plants, have so far only made it into space as experiments. That is soon to change. Rolls-Royce Holdings GmbH published a design for a mini nuclear reactor at the end of January. This is still in the design stage and was developed together with the UK Space Agency. efahrer.chip.de
All images, unless otherwise stated: pixabay.com
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