Göppel: OneTrillion Savings From Renewable

German Member of Parliament Josef Göppel has published an excellent speech he delivered recently at the Bundestag.

There are many remarkable ideas there, but I want to highlight only one thing mentioned at the end of the document.

Göppel notes that Germany is saving EUR 8 billion a year in fossil fuel import costs right now (about 10 percent of the whole bill) and expects that the cumulative savings up to 2040 will reach more than EUR one trillion.

If one simply adds up the remaining 27 years at 8 billion a year, one would only get a measly 216 billion in savings. Where are the missing 800 billion to go over one trillion?

One factor is that the share of renewable energy for electricity generation will go to 65% in 2040, from less than 25% in 2012. That of course means displacing more fossil fuel and saving more.

And other sectors like heating and transport will catch on as well. Just as trains are running on electricity now (not coal), cars in 2040 will run on electricity or hydrogen generated in time slots where demand can’t keep up with renewable energy supply.

Another factor is that fossil fuel prices have gone up massively in the last decade. They might go up some more with China and India catching up in their economic development.

We won’t know the exact figure until 204o. But Göppel’s estimate is a lot more realistic than Altmaier’s estimate of the cost (which does not account in any way for these savings).

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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