Germany’s goal of becoming the first major industrialized nation with a renewable, green power system detours to lignite. The Epoch Times covers Germany’s detour into dirty coal with some disappointment. Germany’s target to cut CO2 emissions by 80% in 2050 on the way to a 95% CO2 reduction becomes a struggle with lignite sourced power providing about 27.5% of their energy. Renewables, primarily solar and wind, require backup power sources when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. After the Fukishima incident Germany decided to get out of nuclear power and will be nuclear-free by 2022. Natural gas is too expensive and lignite is available and plentiful. Lignite has one of the higher CO2 per Btu emission rates and the lowest energy content for coal. But if you have a plentiful supply close by, it makes a reasonable energy source. Carbon Capture and Sequestration is out because of green fears of catastrophic release.
Relying on higher cost, variable energy sources in your effort to save the planet while eliminating dependable zero emissions power sources does present a few problems. It isn’t easy being Grün.