Coal consumption increases in Germany

The toll from coalWhen Germany announced after the Fukushima disaster that it was willing to stop all its nuclear reactors, I published a piece on Cleantechies on how this was premature and dangerous for climate.

I guess I was quite right as this week the same Cleantechies published an article stating that coal consumption of the first European economy had increased by almost five percent in 2011.

The country’s main utilities have also built coal-fired plants. This takes place in 2012 in a country where the Greens are supposedly strong.

Granted, Germany has done a lot on renewables and energy efficiency and I wish the whole European Union did as much. Indeed, Germany added 1.8 GW of PV capacity in June and more than four GWso far in 2012.

But still !

More coal, means more pollution of our air, soil and water. More plants burning that stuff means more demand, and thus, a higher price.

On energy politics, this is messy as you can’t ask former Eastern Europe nations such as Poland to stop building coal-fired plants if the leader in Economy, the Environment and so on builds them too.

All this promises a lot of problems for the European Union to reach its climate and energy goals. This is even more disappointing as:

  1. We used to lead in climate (and in not such a distant past) ;
  2. We can cut our emissions by 30 percent by 2020 (or by 40 percent) if we decided to ;
  3. Renewables could even help us in our sovereign debts issues.

What do you think ?

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