Corona-crisis changed the energy industry and does away with economic heresy

electricity from coal has long been regarded as cheap. The high follow-up costs due to damage to the climate and air pollution were left, however, except Eight.

Corona-crisis changed the energy industry and does away with economic heresy

electricity from coal has long been regarded as cheap. The high follow-up costs due to damage to the climate and air pollution were left, however, except Eight.

Even without the result of electricity generation costs with coal, long the cheapest solution: the World's new Solar produce and wind power plants in many places much cheaper. In Europe, electricity from new large-scale solar power plants of between 1.5 and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) cost today. In the case of new coal-fired power plants, the electricity production is much more expensive and is around eight cents per kWh.

electricity from natural gas is often cheaper than from coal it displaced, especially in the USA and the EU, increasingly, the coal-fired power. Globally, electricity generation from coal declined in 2019 compared to the previous year by three percent, in the EU, there were even 24 per cent, in the United States 16 per cent.

at the same time, the share of natural gas rose to global power generation in 2019 to four per cent, in the case of wind energy by 12 percent and photovoltaics around 22 percent.

coal power is increasingly being broke unprofitable

Because the Corona-crisis, the economy, and also decreased the worldwide demand for electricity. The International energy Agency (IEA) estimates that about eight per cent, less coal is needed than in the previous year.

In the EU was consumed due to the Corona-crisis, according to current market analyst, Dave Jones of the London-based think-tank EMBER in April, 14 percent less electricity, the share of electricity from coal was down to 42 percent, in Germany to 55 percent.

"We are experiencing a special Situation in the European electricity market", says Thorsten Lenck, electricity market expert at the think tank Agora Energiewende in Berlin.

"For one thing, natural gas is currently cheap. Then there is the European emission trading and emission certificates for a ton of CO2 traded at between 20 and 25 euros. Since natural gas power plants in comparison to coal-fired power plants, less CO2, they must buy less of CO2 certificates," said Lenck, compared to the DW. "This combination of enough currently, that old coal-fired power plants are increasingly at a standstill and the electricity from Gas is cheaper. If natural gas remains so cheap, and the CO2 should rise in price, will increase the displacement of coal electricity."

((kw In Germany recorded the Fraunhofer ISE for April, a new green energy record: 60 percent of Germany's electricity needs were generated in April, with Wind, solar, hydropower and biomass. In April 2019, it had been only 48 per cent. kw end))

More coal-fired power or speed for a Coal phase-out?

in the World are always scheduled less new coal-fired power plants and built. However, in 2019, there was an increase of 18 gigawatts, while 46 GW of coal-fired power plants were about 28 GW were shut down. The joint report by the UN environmental organisation UNEP, in cooperation with Bloomberg NEF, and the Frankfurt School of Finance shows .

at the same time solar power plants (118 GW), Wind (61 GW), Gas (30 GW), and 20 GW of other renewable energies such as hydropower, biomass and geothermal energy for grid connection went. In the same period, nuclear power has been further reduced – in the world to five GW.

According to analysis by the London think-tank Carbon Tracker investments in coal-fired power plants today in the world no longer makes sense. "Renewable energies are superior to the coal in the world. The planned investments in coal-fired power plants run the risk to be in the Sand, to be 'stranded assets' to," warns Co-author Matthew Gray.

"investors should rely on beware of a continued support to the governments for coal," adds co-author Sriya Sundaresan.

to stop China, the growth of coal-fired power?

More than half of the coal-fired power plants in the world in China - currently more than 1,000 GW of coal-fired electricity to be generated. China's emissions are also the country with the highest C02. Coal covered in 2019, around 65 percent of China's electricity needs. In addition, 18 percent hydro, six per cent, wind power, three percent photovoltaic, and five percent of nuclear power in 2019 came, according to the China Energy Portal.

China expanded at the same time, renewable energy - solar power grew last year to 27 percent, Wind 11 percent, but the Kohelkraft was expanded by 5 percent, as well as nuclear power (18%).

The Chinese coal industry is pushing to further Expand and local governments want to boost with approvals for new coal-fired power plants in the economy. There were in China in recent years, Overcapacity of coal-fired power plants and more and more bankruptcies in the case of the operators. Because of the Corona-crisis, Chinese authorities now expect that the power consumption is reduced this year to around 5 percent.

According to analysis of Chinese energy experts point to signs that planners are still hesitant in new coal-fired power plants to invest in.

it Would reduce China to its coal-fired power in the future, so this would be, according to a study by Chinese scientists also economically sensible.

Therefore, could fall in the case of a reduction of coal power in the Chinese energy mix to 23 percent in the year 2030 the price of Electricity compared to the Business-as-usual scenario, by six percent. China's power sector could halve its CO2 emissions compared to today.

coal power could be replaced according to the study, mainly by solar power. This could increase according to the scenario from today's three percent to 39 percent and the wind power from its current six per cent to 15 per cent in the electricity mix. In addition, modern power would be used memory.

a scenario for ambitious climate protection, the scientists calculated. Therefore, China's CO2 emissions could be reduced in the electricity sector by 2030, as much as 80 percent. The price of electricity would then be compared to the Business-as-usual scenario, however, 20 per cent higher.

Coal phase-out policy for the climate

we need to reach the 1.5 degree target, is a rapid Action is necessary. The global coal phaseout should be done at least ten years earlier than previously planned, this was the result of a study by the science organization Climate Analytics.

The study recommends that by 2030 a reduction in coal-fired power generation to 80 percent, compared with 2010. Ab 2031 should then do Europe, North America, Japan and Australia (OECD countries), as well as Eastern Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union without a coal. By 2032, Latin America, by 2034, the middle East and Africa, and by 2037, all Asian countries, including China.

Even if, in the meantime, much less new coal-fired power plants are planned, not from the kingdoms of the cessation of construction of new power plants alone. The researchers warn that the energy policy of the governments for an exit strategy from Coal, so far, far behind the necessary steps to stay.

Matthew Grey recommends that the current stimulus programmes for climate protection. Financial support should be an incentive for a premature end to coal-fired power generation and the "bigger Expansion of low-cost, clean renewable energy".

author: Gero Rueter

Merkel reacts harshly to the Left of the question: "can I Find kind of weird" FOCUS Online/Wochit Merkel reacts harshly to the Left of the question: "can I Find kind of weird"

*The post "climate change: coal is unprofitable solar energy" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 02 July 2020, 09:28

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