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Norbert Vasen's picture
CEO Birdseye Energy Consulting GmbH

I am on a quest to bring more Energy Managers into industry. Energy Efficiency is behind on Renewable Energy and that is because it is less exciting (is it?) and labour intensive (each situation...

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Can we afford to leave coal?

image credit: Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

Can we just leave the coal where it is? Or do we need more time to reach climate goals so we have to dig further?
Germany is known for its active environmental economy. Yet they depend much on coal power plants, officially until 2038. The Environmental Federal Office (UBA) wants to make it 2030. What global impact can Energy Efficiency have here? If we just take the statistic for the global Energy Efficiency gain in 2014 from the www.iea.org, of 3% and compound it over 9 years, we get 0,97^9=76%, so we could save 24% worldwide in 2030 compared to today. 

Now, wouldn’t that be a result and decrease the pressure on power production? Considering the financial parameters of Energy Conservation Opportunities (ECOs) it can be done without disrupting the budgets of the consumers, starting with the low hanging fruit. 

So where are we waiting for? Yesss, you know my answer. It is very labour intensive to hunt and find the ECOs in each different situation. So we need more Energy Managers or even just technical employees that get training to take this role or assist the main Energy Manager. As we are in a hurry, we don't need only top-notch specialised Energy Managers. In the Battle of Britain it didn't take a long time to complete a course in a Spit-Fire.

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Thank Norbert for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 3, 2021

This is one of those questions that greatly benefits as well from listing out the implied other half: "Can we afford to leave coal, once we price in the costs of not making the switch sooner?"

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