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Greenhouse gases rise as Germany burns coal
Photo: DPA

Greenhouse gases rise as Germany burns coal

Published: 26 Feb 2013 07:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Feb 2013 07:05 GMT+01:00

Germany saw increased emissions in greenhouse gases last year due to more coal and gas usage while the country seeks to develop its renewable energy sources, according to the Federal Environment Agency.

Germany, which has committed to phase out nuclear power, emitted the equivalent of around 931 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2012, or 14 million tonnes more than a year earlier, the agency said on Monday.

"Greenhouse gas emissions in Germany increased slightly in 2012 by 1.6 percent," it said in a written statement.

"More coal was burned to generate electricity and more gas was used to heat homes, due to the weather," it added. "The development of renewable energies abated the emissions' increase however."

After the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany embarked on an ambitious "energy revolution," deciding to phase out its nuclear power plants by the end of 2022 and bolster renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind power.

But concerns have mounted that this would entail a sharp rise in electricity prices amid difficulties in building a network able to transmit energy from the North Sea coast to the energy-hungry south of the country.

The agency's president Jochen Flasbarth said fears that the nuclear exit would spark far greater greenhouse gas emissions had not happened "because, above all, the further development of renewable energies has countered it."

"However, the trend of again converting more coal into electricity worries me," he added in the statement.

Germany said that despite the slight increase in emissions in 2012, it had more than met the targets agreed under the Kyoto Protocol, with its greenhouse gas emissions having fallen by 25.5 percent compared to 1990.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:47 February 26, 2013 by Harlan
What do you expect? Nukes were shut down. The energy for a modern, growing economy had to come from someplace.
16:24 February 26, 2013 by berfel
What was it that Old Fritz's friend said? Oh yeah: "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

(Of course, he probably said it in French.)

Of course power generators will emit more greenhouse gases as shown in the photo.

You will also get water vapour and steam off the bathtubs of the homes who still have heating in an energy-restricted country. CO2 is an invisible, non-toxic gas that is a basic necessity for photosynthesis at the bottom of the food chain for everything that lives on this planet.

It's not "Energiewende"; it's "EnergieABwende".
16:35 February 26, 2013 by mitanni
Where does the energy come from? French nuclear power plants on the German border of course.
18:50 February 26, 2013 by Englishted
Has anyone else noticed the fantastic growth of wood burning fires in Germany if that does not produce a increase in greenhouse gasses it sure as hell increases air pollution from smoke .
20:07 February 26, 2013 by raandy
accolades for Germany, you pollute your neighbors and they sell you atomic generated power.
20:39 February 26, 2013 by Brint
@mitanni.

"Where does the energy come from? French nuclear power plants on the German border of course."

Whilst bowing to your superior knowledge, according to Bloomberg.. "For the first year ever, France was a net importer of power from its neighbor every month in 2012 as German solar output more than doubled."

"Hollande Draws French Industry Ire as Nuclear Edge Fades." http://tinyurl.com/afk7g5z
22:18 February 26, 2013 by Laurence F
You will have some very happy plants and vegetation with greenhouse gases.

It is much better then the government stealing your money to subsidize solar power, wind and electric cars. It about your communist and socialists governments (you don't have real conservatives; only make-believe ones) controlling you, your liberty and your property.

Serfs!
00:34 February 27, 2013 by Brint
@Laurence F

"It is much better then the government stealing your money to subsidize solar power, wind.".. I'd be interested if you can show me an instance where nuclear power generation isn't in some way or another underwritten from the public purse.
17:10 February 27, 2013 by US-TommyBoy
Why is the release of CO2 by burning coal bad? And on the flip side, that would mean that the coal formation a million years ago from plant material was good?

It is not like uranium fuel for nuke plants occurs naturally in nature, and spent fuel has a half life way longer than humans half walked upright.
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