Greenpeace activists think it’s possible for Germany to meet its global warming goals if the country bans all non-electric cars.
A Greenpeace study published Monday found “the production of cars with gasoline and diesel engines has to end by 2025.” The study concluded Germany’s famous Autobahn would need to be replaced with overhead railway lines and buses.
The study does not include any cost estimates and ignores what the death of the combustion engine by 2025 would mean for Germany’s car industry, which is generally regarded as the most competitive and innovative in the world. Germany exports $8.7 billion worth of cars each year, making it responsible for 60 percent of all car exports in the European Union.
Even if all of Greenpeace’s proposed solutions were implemented, energy use would still increase by a factor of five. The Greenpeace study admits “a demand of 3,000 terawatt hours supplied by renewable energy by 2040 is considered to be a futile exercise.” Today, green energy producers supply only 200 terawatt-hours annually.
Germany’s plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by switching to green energy have already run into serious problems, as wind and solar power nearly burnt out Germany’s power grid in May.
Germany has minimized the damage from over-utilizing wind and solar by paying consumers to take excess power and paying green energy producers to shut down. Germany paid wind farms $548 million last year to switch off in order to prevent damage to the country’s electric grid.
Due to the damaging effects green energy has had on Germany’s grid, the government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to a report published last month by the German newspaper Berliner Zeitung. By 2019, Germany will get rid of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity.
Despite the cuts to wind power, the German government estimates it will spend over $1.1 trillion financially supporting wind power, even though building wind turbines hasn’t achieved the government’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to slow global warming.
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