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13.04.2012
Natural gas as a fuel for road vehicles: The underrated alternative
Abstract: Natural gas continues to lead a niche existence as a fuel for road vehicles despite offering many advantages. The variable costs for a car that runs on natural gas are much lower than those for petrol or diesel engined cars. Besides, it also causes fewer emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. But, so far, natural gas passenger cars are in short supply. Furthermore, the premium charged is still too high for many customers. The filling station network would need to be expanded. However, the problems can generally be managed. On balance, natural gas vehicles have good prospects of growing their market share in the years ahead.
Topics: Auto industry; Economic policy; Energy policy; Energy sector; Environmental policy; Gas industry; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability; Transport; Transport policy
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08.03.2012
State-of-the-art electricity storage systems: Indispensable elements of the energy revolution
Abstract: This study analyses the extent to which the growing volume of regenerative electricity and thus the disparity between power production and power consumption can lead to the loss of the electricity produced and jeopardise an assured electricity supply. First, the structure and size of the problem will be outlined; and then the requirements for solutions and their possible market potential will be deduced. The basic question to be examined is whether modern electricity storage systems are capable of matching the dynamic structural change to energy supplies. Various technical approaches, including pumped storage systems and pumped storage hydropower stations, compressed air energy storage, and hydrogen and methane storage will be discussed and evaluated against efficiency and cost criteria.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy policy; Energy sector; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Innovation; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability; Technology and innovation
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02.03.2012
The climate conflict – and its economic and political implications
Abstract: Currently, there is an ongoing debate about the pace, scope and damage potential of climate change as well as about the influence of humankind on this phenomenon. This may come as a surprise to casual observers of the debate, for over the past few years most people have been given the impression that scientists agreed that, first of all, climate change is proceeding rapidly, that, secondly, humankind has been a major contributor because of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and that, thirdly, climate change will bring with it serious damage. This “climate conflict” is not at all new, however. Rather, it as old as the climate debate itself.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy policy; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; European policy issues; Globalisation; Intern. relations; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability; Tax policy
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19.12.2011
Germany's EEG-2012: Lots of enemies, few alternatives
Abstract: Since its introduction the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has been highly controversial. Its opponents can be found at all levels, ranging from the scientific community and consumer associations right through to the political parties. As long as alternatives such as emissions trading still fail to gain global acceptance, the German government is well advised to stick with the principle of the incentive programme.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy sector; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Technology and innovation
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12.12.2011
International climate change policy: The world chooses adaptation
Abstract: The low expectations for the climate change conference in Durban were justified. Not only was there a failure to come to a legally binding climate change agreement containing substantial emission reduction targets, but the prospect of reaching such an agreement also appears to be unrealistic for the foreseeable future. Despite a myriad of investments in energy efficiency and renewable energies it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the 2°C target can be achieved. The world has thus made a de facto decision in favour of more adaptation.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy policy; Globalisation; Intern. economic system; Intern. relations; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability
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29.11.2011
Durban must clear the path for more low carbon investment
Abstract: Time is running out for reaching agreement on the post-Kyoto international climate regime. Expectations for a breakthrough in Durban are low. Yet, finding common ground is essential in order to secure more ambitious emission reduction commitments. Else, the remaining hope to limit warming to 2°C will quickly fade as the tipping point nears. National targets, where they exist, are simply not enough and several key countries have yet to develop coherent policies.
Topics: Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sustainability
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22.11.2011
Climate change: Forest conservation must be given higher priority
Abstract: Forest conservation can help mitigate the effects of climate change and facilitate adaptation to new climatic conditions. It plays a particularly important role for the water balance. The clearing and overexploitation of “old” woodland leads to accelerated desertification and exacerbated flooding. International climate negotiations aim to foster the protection and sustainable use of forests.
Topics: Economic policy; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Intern. relations; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Other sectors; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability
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09.11.2011
Emissions trading in aviation: Moderate burdens for the time being, perceptible competition effects
Abstract: From 2012, aviation will be part of the European Union’s emissions trading system (EU ETS). Airlines will then have to prove that they have allowances for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions covering all flights taking off or landing in the EU. For the time being, a major share of the allowances will be distributed for free, while the remainder will be auctioned. Fundamentally, emissions trading is an appropriate instrument to limit and/or reduce carbon emissions also in aviation. However, the international orientation of the sector means that if the EU goes it alone on this issue the result will be competitive distortions to the detriment of European carriers. Furthermore, emissions trading incurs high transaction costs.
Topics: Economic policy; Energy policy; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Sustainability; Transport
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31.10.2011
Germany’s new raw materials policy: Late, but not too late
Abstract: The recent signing of Germany’s first raw materials partnership agreement heralds a new era in the country’s raw materials policy. In the last few years competition has intensified significantly at the international level. The new strategy opens up business opportunities and promises a more stable supply of raw materials.
Topics: Energy policy; Energy sector; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities
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19.10.2011
Electromobility: Falling costs are a must
Abstract: At present the issue of electromobility (E-mobility) is electrifying the public. Why is public discussion focusing so intently on E-mobility right now? Why are many governments supporting the technology just now, and why have carmakers chosen precisely this time to intensify their research and development in this area? In this report we analyse how realistic the expectations of E-mobility are. We also examine the market-based and regulative instruments with which governments intend and are able to support E-mobility. Additionally, we estimate the market potential for electric vehicles in Germany in the year 2020 on the basis of various different scenarios.
Topics: Auto industry; Economic policy; Electrical engineering; Energy sector; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Key issues - nicht mehr verwenden!; Macroeconomics; Natural resources; Sectors / commodities; Social values / Consumer behaviour; Sustainability; Transport; Transport policy
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