Conflict in Ukraine could accelerate Germany’s green energy transition, study finds

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A wind turbine stands out against the sky as the sun sets over the Black Forest with the French Vosges mountain range in the back, November 10, 2020. Picture taken from the Brandenkopf lookout near Zell am Hamersbach, Germany on November 10, 2020. REUTERS / Joachim Hermann

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BERLIN, July 17 (Reuters) – The fallout from the Ukraine conflict could accelerate Germany’s green energy transition despite Berlin’s decision to reconnect coal-fired power plants to compensate for dwindling fossil fuel supplies from Russia, according to a study published on Sunday.

The German government has been pushing for a switch to renewables, aiming for renewables to contribute 80% of the country’s electricity generation by 2030.

The study by credit insurer Allianz Trade found that Germany’s green energy targets were likely to increase the share of renewables in the electricity mix in the medium term, even beyond this that would be needed to achieve the Paris climate goals by 2035.

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The study found that an increase in coal-fired electricity generation, approved by the German government earlier this month, will not increase CO2 emissions in the European Union, as generation will be limited by the system EU emissions trading scheme.

The study said coal was unlikely to become a long-term substitute for Russian gas due to high EU emissions trading prices.

“(Coal-fired power generation) will be shut out of the market,” said study author Markus Zimmer.

He also said renewable energy planning and approval procedures need to be simplified and accelerated to meet the German government’s targets.

The study estimated that the expansion of renewable energy in Germany would require annual investments of around 28 billion euros until 2035, and that the industry would need some 440,000 workers from 2022 to 2035 to reach the Goals.

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Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Klaus Lauer. Editing by Jane Merriman

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