Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Causal CO2 Link Found

But not in the way the greens are hoping for.  Der Spiegel is carrying an interesting report that despite the success of Germany's renewable energy industry, it has not reduced CO2 output by a single gramme.  In fact, perversely, efforts at green policies may actually have resulted in increase in CO2 output.

The article which can be seen here and the accompanying editorial seen here illustrate the inverse relationship between increased renewable energy sources and C02 emmissions. There seem to be several issues in play here including German policy and the EU mechanism for CO2 output "management".

According to the article, the EU wide emissions trading system determines the total amount of CO2 that can be emitted , by power companies and industry but apparently, this amount does not change regardless of how many turbines are produced. Worse still is that everyone involved from law makers to industry seems to know about it, but each has their own reasons for keeping schtum.  It appears (subject to further research by interested parties who will look beyond the article) that there isn't an obvious process by which the CO2 amount permitted by the process is rolled back as the growth in renewables comes on stream and that despite all their noise, politicians aren't that keen to go back to try and implement a change to this.

Its almost comical to read how the increase in renewables doesn't change the amount of certificates available and as a follow on dilutes the cost of producing CO2 making "polluting" the atmosphere cheaper.

So next time someone starts banging on about renewables to you and decides to cite Germany as the shining example we should be following, gently point out to them that their appraoch hasn't dropped CO2 output by a single gramme and that coal usage is up 8% as a result of that glorious policy and that unlike them you've got verifiable evidence.

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