June 13, 2018 / 2:14 PM / 6 days ago

German energy industry says other sectors must do more for climate

* Concerned that renewables course undermines grid stability

BERLIN, June 13 (Reuters) - German power companies want the government to enforce more carbon dioxide reductions from the transport and heat sectors to help the country meet its climate goals, the managing director of industry association BDEW said on Wednesday.

“The energy sector has reached its climate reduction targets for 2020, but we expect politicians to address the other sectors also,” Stefan Kapferer told reporters during the group’s annual congress.

“The one industry that does not deliver is transport, which is why we believe that stricter emissions targets for car fleets will be necessary,” he added.

The energy utility industry, which unlike other main polluters is subject to mandatory carbon emissions rights trading, would achieve 40 percent CO2 savings by 2020 over 1990 levels, he said.

It has removed from the market 6 gigawatts (GW) of polluting coal capacity over the past 15 months, he said.

The Berlin cabinet earlier on Wednesday said in its climate report that Germany as a whole anticipated previous targets for overall CO2 cuts of 32 percent by 2020 would not be achieved, in an embarrassing setback for Germany’s green credentials.

It cited sustained high emissions from the car sector, competitive oil and gas prices, and 1 million new citizens arriving in the last few years as refugees and workers - factors that had combined to boost fossil-fuel use.

Emissions from the transport sector rose by 2.3 percent last year, as a booming economy meant more heavy vehicles were on the road, data from government agency UBA showed.

The government wants to achieve 61 percent CO2 emissions reductions by 2030, a target that requires 65 percent of power generation to be renewables-based.

It will bring in a climate law next year that demands more action from polluting industries.

BDEW is concerned that fast-expanding renewables and more plant closures could leave a gap between conventional electricity supply and demand by the early 2020s.

While conventional fossil-fuel capacity could fall to 75 GW by that stage, maximum power demand can reach 82 GW, risking problems as power cannot yet be stored, Kapferer said.

“We need to start building new capacity in 2019/20 to respond in time, but nobody is building any new plants,” Kapferer said.

He blamed political dithering over the market framework for investments in gas-fired plants, power grids and combined heat and power plants to supply inner cities. (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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