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Germany can save billions with sustainable alternatives to LNG

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Sustainable alternatives to LNG. Foto: Adobe Stock Images
Sustainable alternatives to LNG. Foto: Adobe Stock Images
  • Germany will waste billions of Euros on importing fossil gas over the coming decade if it does not rapidly cut gas consumption in the buildings sector.
  • By 2030 natural gas imports could reach €200bn in additional costs or as high as 130% more than the historical average, with household bills doubling in price.
  • By investing in building efficiency alone, Germany can save more gas than new LNG terminals offer.

Story: LNG costs and alternatives in Germany

Germany risks wasting billions by prioritising new fossil gas over sustainable investments, finds a new report by E3G, IEEFA, Wuppertal Institut and Neon. 

In just eight years additional costs for Germany’s gas imports could reach up to €200bn, doubling gas bills for consumers. The average cost for gas imports over the rest of this decade is calculated to lie 80-130% above the historical average. This corresponds to additional €15 to 25 billion in costs per year.  

To avoid wasting billions on expensive gas imports, Germany can reduce gas consumption in the buildings sector to a third of where it is today. This requires an ambitious programme with funding, training and regulation that supports renovations, heat pump deployment and district heating. The plans announced by the German government so far leave much of this potential untapped.  

By focusing more on buildings decarbonisation Germany can save more gas than the amount new LNG terminals would import, calling their need into question. 

Quotes 

Mathias Koch, Policy Advisor German Energy Systems at E3G said: 

“Germany risks locking itself into extremely expensive gas deals that will hamper its energy transition and burden families, businesses, and the government. By realising the huge potential to save gas in its buildings stock, these high costs can be avoided. That way, instead of further filling the coffers of gas exporters, Germany uses its financial strength to turbocharge its energy transition.” 

Maria Pastukhova, Senior Policy Advisor, at E3G said: 

“Germany growing up geopolitically and retaining its economic and industrial competitiveness means parting with the decades-long dependency on imported gas. It needs to fundamentally rethink its approach to energy security. This study shows that the new focus needs to be on efficiency and renewables – a course to pursue at home and at the EU level as talks on the Green Deal proceed next week.” 

Arjun Flora, Director of Energy Finance Studies, Europe at IEEFA, said: 

“By taking the smart approach outlined in this report, Germany can solve its near-term gas problem while simultaneously investing in a more secure and sustainable future. This would be far wiser than wasting public funds on LNG infrastructure, which will serve only to burden German taxpayers for decades to come.” 

Available for comments on LNG and energy alternatives

Mathias Koch, Policy Advisor German Energy Systems & Industry Transition, E3G is available for commentary – please contact them directly: mathias.koch@e3g.org  

Maria Pastukhova, Senior Policy Advisor, Clean Economy, E3G is available for commentary – please contact them directly: maria.pastukhova@e3g.org  

ENDS 

Notes to Editors 

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G 
  2. This report has been produced in collaboration with IEEFA, Wuppertal Institut and Neon.  
  3. The report will be available in English language in full within the next few weeks. The report in German language will be available here: Bezahlbare Wärme ohne Flüssigerdgas – E3G 
  4. E3G also collaborated with Ember to assess the savings potential from renewable energy at EU level, study available here
  5. For further enquiries email press@e3g.org or phone +49 170 928 9856 

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