A reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 95 percent until 2050 compared to the levels of 1990 could cost Germany about 1.85 trillion euros (2.06 trillion U.S. dollars) in total, a study published by the German research center Juelich on Thursday showed.
If Germany would achieve the climate target of a CO2 reduction of 95 percent, the annual costs amounted to 2.8 percent of Germany’s gross domestic product estimated for 2050, the study found.
The German government is aiming for a reduction of CO2 emissions of between 80 and 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 as stipulated in its climate action plan from 2016.
Germany’s transition to renewable energies would be “associated with significant investments,” said Martin Robinius, scientist at Juelich and head of the study.
However, the costs for the transition would be “predictable and manageable” while subsequent adaptation costs to climate change were “uncertain and are likely to be many times higher,” Robinius said.
The study noted in particular that new wind power and photovoltaic plants would need to be constructed “as of now until 2035” in order to achieve the “most cost-effective” transition to renewable energy sources.
At the same time, energy efficiency would need to be “massively increased” in all consumption sectors such as traffic, manufacturing or housing until 2035.
After 2035, all technologies in traffic, manufacturing and housing which were then still based on fossil fuels would have to be “rapidly and decisively” electrified or converted to the use of bioenergy, the study noted.