Why pure fuel just isn’t a bridge expertise

Jul 05, 2022 (Nanowerk Information) The growth of pure fuel infrastructure jeopardises vitality transition, as pure fuel just isn’t a bridge expertise in the direction of a 100 per cent renewable vitality system as outlined by the Paris Local weather Settlement. That is the results of a examine carried out by an interdisciplinary German analysis group and revealed within the journal Nature Vitality (“The growth of pure fuel infrastructure places vitality transitions in danger”). The researchers have examined the pure fuel subject from 5 views and given fuel a reasonably poor local weather stability, akin to that of coal or oil. They suggest that politicians and scientists revise the present assumptions about pure fuel. The examine was headed by Professor Claudia Kemfert from the German Institute for Financial Analysis (DIW) and Leuphana College Lüneburg in collaboration with Franziska Hoffart from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fabian Präger from Technische Universität Berlin and Isabell Braunger and Hanna Brauers from the College of Flensburg.

Vitality disaster is just one side of the issue

Within the wake of the offensive conflict waged by Russia, the German authorities faces the problem of lowering vitality reliance on Russia and persevering with to make sure an reasonably priced and safe vitality provide that’s according to local weather targets. Efforts are at present being made to compensate for Russian pure fuel, whose provide is curtailed and unsure, by establishing new fuel commerce relations and new infrastructure. Claudia Kemfert, who heads the examine, explains: “Fossil pure fuel is neither clear nor protected. By holding on to fossil pure fuel for too lengthy, Germany has discovered itself in an vitality disaster. The nation can now solely emerge from this disaster by taking decisive motion for constant decarbonisation in the direction of a full provide from renewable energies.”

Pure fuel use just isn’t per se preferable to coal and oil

The researchers query widespread assumptions about pure fuel from 5 views. Within the course of, they deal with dangers related to additional growth of pure fuel infrastructure and continued heavy use of pure fuel. Whereas many nonetheless subscribe to the notion that pure fuel is clear, intensive analysis reveals that the local weather affect of pure fuel use is considerably underestimated and that the fossil gasoline is certainly not per se the higher various to coal and oil use. “CO2 just isn’t the one drawback; there’s additionally the extremely efficient greenhouse fuel methane, which escapes unburned into the ambiance alongside the complete worth chain by means of fugitive emissions. To this point, these emissions haven’t been sufficiently taken into consideration and have up to now been underestimated,” factors out Fabian Präger.

The narrative of bridge expertise is deceptive

Furthermore, the researchers posit that an growth of pure fuel infrastructure can result in path dependencies (“lock-in results”) and financial local weather dangers such because the untimely lack of worth of fossil property (“stranded property”). “Investments in fossil vitality infrastructure cement dependence on fossil fuels and emissions for many years. Large financial prices and fossil path dependencies are thus created, delaying the phase-out of fossil vitality and the event of a 100 per cent renewable vitality system. Infrastructure that isn’t suitable with local weather targets is threatened with early decommissioning with financial losses,” stresses Franziska Hoffart.

5 measures

The researchers suggest 5 measures to keep away from these dangers:
  • Administration of methane emissions all through the pure fuel worth chain
  • Revising the assumptions of state of affairs analyses based mostly on new analysis findings on greenhouse fuel emissions associated to pure fuel
  • Changing the bridge expertise narrative with clear and decisive decarbonisation standards
  • Avoiding additional pure fuel lock-ins and methane leaks
  • Critical and rigorous consideration of climate-related dangers in vitality infrastructure planning
  • “We hope to make use of these findings so as to add a vital perspective to the tutorial and public dialogue on the way forward for fossil pure fuel and infrastructure,” says Isabell Braunger. “The paper just isn’t solely aimed on the scientific group, however, extra importantly, at governments growing methods to mitigate greenhouse gases. In spite of everything, investments in pure fuel infrastructure could maintain again the vitality transition and entail huge financial dangers,” factors out Hanna Brauers.

    Interdisciplinary examine reveals shortfalls of present discourse

    One of many distinctive points of the examine is the mixture of various views that create a holistic view of the subject material. The researchers had been capable of obtain this angle thanks of their various backgrounds in economics, industrial engineering, politics and ethics. “That is how we present that the present dialogue is incomplete and {that a} holistic and interdisciplinary analysis strategy to the vitality transition and social-ecological transformation processes supplies deeper insights,” conclude the authors. They conclude: “The local weather and geopolitical vitality disaster surrounding fossil fuels highlights the necessity for a well timed and constant pure fuel exit, which should be organised and carried out by society as an entire.”

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