German carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions could be slashed by 80% from 1990 levels by the year 2050, according to a long-term energy-use scenario presented today by the government. The cuts could be achieved without using nuclear power, and strongly underpin the ruling red/green coalition's aim to shift away from fossil fuels in the fight against climate change.
The Wuppertal institute and the German space centre, joint authors of the study, identify three main criteria for achieving the CO2 cuts. First, annual energy efficiency improvements of 3-3.5% would be needed over the next 20-30 years compared with about 1.7% over the last decade. Secondly, primary energy production from renewable sources would have to grow to 12.5% by 2010 and 50% by 2050, goals already proposed under Germany's sustainable development strategy (EED 04/01/02). Thirdly, combined heat and power generation would have to be doubled or trebled.
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