The underlayed nervy

The underlayed nervy

Coal power plant in dates. Image: Arnold Paul / CC-BY-SA-3.0

The Energy and Climate Week Show: About too high mercury limits, de-less state governments and shandtern-positive signals from China and India

Germany’s coal-fired power plants not only emit a lot of greenhouse gases – over 40 percent of local emissions -, they also puff all sorts of other uble pollutants such as particulate matter, arsenic, nitrogen oxides, heavy metals and sulfur dioxide in the air.

And mercury. A surprise study written on behalf of the Green Bundestag Faction cites information from the European Environment Agency and the Federal Environment Agency. Accordingly, around ten tons of mercury are delivered to the air in Germany and seven tons of the energy sector. Only from 16 lignite power plants was ied in 2013 3.44 tons of the poisonous metal.

Mercury is a pollutant that, depending on the concentration in children inhibits the spiritual development, leads to visual, horizontal and language disclosures and to result in thought loss. Worst case it comes to mental disabilities. In adults, among other things, mercury poisoning can lead to trembling of the hands, motorized disorders, language tribunals, increased aggressiveness and heavy-offs.

Too high limits for mercury

It is all the more worrying that the concentrations measured in the environment continue to rise worldwide and also in this country and that the poison enriches in the food chain. Particularly fish take on, so that in some countries with high fish forecast, the daily mercury recording of many burgers over that lies what qualifies for harmless. The study cites an investigation from the year 2013, according to which one-third of the newborns in 25 European countries "A methyl quiver concentration in the hair over the tolerable highest value (0.58 micrograms per gram)" shows.

It is therefore amazing that the legal limits for mercury emissions not only remain far behind the technically feasible recovery, but also no limitation of the absolute quantity. Limited is only the concentration in the exhaust gases. At present, this highest value according to the Federal Immission Protection Act is 30 micrograms per cubic meter (μg / m³), which must not be exceeded in the day. From 2019, EU far is a stricter value of ten micrograms per cubic meter, which refers to the annual average.

This value remains behind the potential far back. The Green Study cites documents of the EU, according to which emissions to minimally a microgram mercury per cubic meter could be reduced with the corresponding filter technology. Thus, emissions from German power plants could be reduced by 85 percent.

A comment on the Grunun Bundestag Faction website also refers to the fact that the local legal limits are far above the US. Even if lower limits were binding in 2019, his them still "2.5- to 6.7-fold" High than in the US.

However, the provisions of the Federal Environment Agency (Envrionmental Protection Agency, EPA) are violently evaluated by the power plant operators. The cost hours in no reasonable ratio to the savings in the health sector. Last summer, the highest court of the USA was right. In a narrow funf-to-four decision, the judges found that the authority had not sufficiently considered the costs of their regulation.

More mercury in NRW

Maybe the Grununen did not see the Atlantic, but to look at the Rhine, where they sit in North Rhine-Westphalia in the state government and thus bear responsibility for the environmental and energy policy there. The state is home to four of the ten dirtiest German coal-fired power plants, is called the Pirate Party there. Their parliamentary group refers to the high mercury loads in parts of the country:

The much too high German limit values are even surpassed in NRW. The burden of the high-toxic nervy and its more poisonous organic compounds have long been clear about the environmental quality standards at the lip. Nevertheless, the causes, the coal-fired power plants, not only continues to run, even new planned, which must first be stopped in court.

Hanns-Jorg Rohwedder, environmental spokesman for pirates in the state parliament of NRW

The Pirate Country Chairman Patrick Schiffer therefore demands that the "Conclusions from the EU Water Framework Directive and the Paris Climate Protection Agreement (…) Incorrectly implemented. In addition to the equipment of the relevant power plants with modern filter technology, as a charity, a coal outline law", so boatman. His group has a report from the Dusseldorfer state government "About the current and future expected mercury burden in the country" requested on the next session of the Parliamentary Environment Committee on 20. January should be submitted.

Less coal in China

Natural mercury sources include volcanoes. Otherwise, it is released when combustion of coal, oil and natural gas as well as in some industrial processes. In the fossil raw materials, many million years had been stored through natural processes and gradually removed from biosphare. Man now brings it back within a geological microscopic period there.

The toxic metal is slightly cursive and evaporates already at room temperature. Therefore, it can be worn far through the air. Part of Chinese emissions creates it, for example, to the USA. In that sense, environmental protectioners were allowed to be pleased with the news from China in duplicity. There is coal consumption for the first time since about 30 years in two consecutive years ago. This not only means fewer mercury and greenhouse gas emissions, but also the loud US climate protection opposites takes the wind from the sails that are happy to hide behind China.

The International Energy Agency sees in its at the beginning of December carbon report signs for another racy of Chinese coal use. Thus, their high point could be reached ten years before the target targeted by the government. By 2020, consumption was able to return by almost ten percent. The goods also good for climate protection, because the burning of coal in China’s power plants, blast furnace and heating systems is a rough part of the greenhouse gas emissions there.

More sun in India

Unless India Lost China, on whose account is currently just about half the half of the global coal consumption. At the Paris Climate Conference, India’s Prasident Narendra Modi had still vehemently insisted that its country expansive to solar and wind energy, but yet numerous other coal-fired power plants needed. That’s good right, as it drove a narrow billion people from poverty and industrialize the country.

After all, modes can point out that India’s pro-head greenhouse gas emissions with two tons per year and inhabitants are still far behind the European (6.8 tons per capita and year in the EU) or US (17.4) (17.4) Data according to the latest report of the Global Carbon Projects).

The underlayed nervy

Pro-Head CO2 emissions in China, India, the US and the EU from burning fossil energy carrier and cement production. Image: Global Carbon Project

But as it looks, the market in India seems to speak a different language than that would like to talk to the nationalist Pauke haunting Minister Prosident. Anyway, it had already in Paris from the Indian delegation, sun and wind were the first choice for India. New coal-fired power plants are only for those part that are not covered by hydroelectric power plants, other renewable energy carriers and nuclear power plants.

Now on Monday The Sydney Morning Herald warned the domestic mining industry in front of rough hopes for new coal-fired power plants in India. There, the electricity from new solar systems is now cheaper than that of power plants burning the Australian Import Cares.

The newspaper refers to the cleavage in two tenders in November and December. The licenses for new solar parks of 500 and 350 megawatts had been awarded to electricity prices, which are around 20 percent lower than tolerated a year ago. The operators of the new parks were therefore converted to 6.5 Euro cents per kilowatt hour for the electricity they deliver.

The newspaper also cites estimates, according to which the price for solar power in India in the next few years will decrease for fun percent per year. Solarstrom was soon underpaid the local coal. So India has good prospects to reach its expansion goal of 100 GW solar energy until 2022 prematurely, provided, of course, the clean energy will not thrown administrative butps between the legs and the grid expansion is progressing well. For the many previously unpluged Dorfer are insulation with solar and wind energy without more meaningful than rough central power plants.

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