The German Energiewende and its Climate Paradox

Analysis of the reasons for rising C02 emissions in Germany

  • Project Duration: 03/2014 - 04/2014

From 2011 until 2013, Germany experienced the so-called Energiewende paradox: Greenhouse gas emissions rose despite a growing share of renewable energies. Two trends contributed to this. In the power sector, declining nuclear power after Fukushima was overcompensated by the expansion of renewable energies, while electricity usage fell. At the same time, brown coal and hard coal power plants pushed emissions-friendlier gas plants out of the market, and power exports rose. Falling prices in European C02 trading underpinned a trend toward more coal usage, while gas prices were high and hard coal prices simultaneously fell.

This project describes the causes of the Energiewende paradox and presents proposals for resolving the problem.

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