A.6 Energy Transition repowered – A workshop series

  • 2019-08-05, 10:00–12:30, Tent 16
  • 2019-08-06, 10:00–12:30, Tent 16
  • 2019-08-07, 10:00–12:30, Tent 16
  • 2019-08-08, 10:00–12:30, Tent 16

Monday: Ecological Economics and Coal Extraction in Colombia - Understanding phase-in to initiate phase-out by Felipe & Chris:

Despite global trends Columbia is currently phasing-in coal. This circumstance will be highlighted in the workshop. Together we will analyse drivers and barriers of a coal phase-in in general and design strategies to counteract this development.

Tuesday: The Renaissance of Coal in the Global South – raising questions about responsibility and justice by Zakia and Niccolò:

Many countries of the Global South are at present heavily constructing new coal-fired power plants. In respect of global warming this raises questions of responsibility and justice.
Different inputs will be given to provide background knowledge. Together we will then identify different opinions and arguments on the issue and use them in a discussion.

Wednesday: Natural Gas Exit – The next step for a successful Energiewende by Fabian et al.:

The natural gas industry is trying to establish the fossil energy source natural gas as the bridging technology of the energy transition. But the fact is: Natural gas is not an option for the decarbonization of our energy system! In this workshop, we learn about the energy source natural gas, its origin and extraction, the negative effects of methane on the climate as well as the problem of the natural gas Lock-In. In the process, we are gradually deconstructing the narrative of "clean and green gas" and learning facts to underpin our future actions with a knowledge base.

Thursday: Sector integration and energy transport infrastructure – enabler or bottleneck of a fair energy transformation? #clisciety by Lia:

Electricity, heat and gas/hydrogen networks: We will focus on the infrastructure-centered perspective and discuss the current and future energy transportation infrastructure in terms of structuring, operation/control and ownership. We compare the two mainstream pathways of “all-electric society” and “technology mix”. Does a central/global decarbonization strategy prevent a local & sufficient one by new stakeholders? Does it make sense to protest against large gas/power grid infrastructure?


Monday:

Ecological Economics and Coal Extraction in Colombia - Understanding phase-in to initiate phase-out by Felipe & Chris:

Content

Colombia has been producing hard-coal for export since the 1970s. In 2019, the construction of the country's largest coal-fired power plant is scheduled to begin. This means that the South American country is in the process of phasing in coal for power generation, despite global trends for coal phase-out.

Structure

In this workshop, we will jointly use analytical tools from ecological economics to critically examine various aspects of coal phase-in. With the help of concepts and terms such as joint-production, stocks, irreversibility, and others, we will be able to look deeply into the long-term implications of this possible commitment to coal. Meanwhile, we will also discuss which factors can favour or hinder the phase-in of coal. Building on this, we will jointly design collective strategies for action to effectively organize and support resistance. No previous knowledge necessary.

Tuesday:

The Renaissance of Coal in the Global South – raising questions about responsibility and justice by Zakia and Niccolò:

Topic

Countries of the Global South and particularly in South-East Asia are at present heavily constructing new coal-fired power plants. In respect of global warming this raises questions of responsibility and justice. May countries use power generation from coal? Which energy transition is 'just'?
We will unfortunately not find easy answers to these questions. Instead, this workshop provides background information to discuss these topics and aims to identify controversial subjects, different opinions and arguments and discuss them.

Structure

We will begin the workshop with several inputs given by the workshop leaders to relevant topics, approximately 5 min each followed by a quick round of conversation. These should provide background information to the following topics (this list might be altered/appended before the camp but should serve as a rough guidance):

  • Historical Emissions
  • Present Situation of Coal
  • International Climate Agreements
  • Financial Support from Western Countries for Coal Plants
  • Reasons for Coal
  • The 3 Principles of Responsibility for Climate Change
  • Climate justice - an introduction
  • Alternatives to Coal and their feasibility

Based on the input we will work in small groups to devise issues and opinions along different dimensions, e.g. sovereignty, climate change mitigation urgency, responsibility, availability of alternatives… The goal is to figure out potential controversial subjects and different opinions, including, but not only, your own. We further identify arguments that can be used in the following discussion.

You can use and test your arguments while discussing different opinions in a fishbowl conversation. This enables you to be involved in a discussion if, when and in the way you want to.

In the end we will have a closing session. We summarize the points made and conclude with a feedback session where you can share your insights, unanswered questions and opinions

Wednesday:

Natural Gas Exit – The next step for a successful Energiewende by Fabian et al.:

From politics and industry, we frequently hear the myth of "clean and green natural gas". Through targeted framing, campaigning and lobbying, it is achieved that the narrative of the "clean bridging energy" is established in the breadth of politics and society. But appearance is deceptive! Natural gas is a fossil energy source that generates CO2 when burned, which further fuels the climate crisis. But even more climate-damaging is the methane, which evidently escapes through leaks into the atmosphere while the process of extracting, transportation and storage of natural gas. The environmental and climatic damage caused by so-called fracking, as practiced by the US, is particularly drastic. This dirty fracking gas will now be exported to Germany in liquid form (LNG - Liquefied Natural Gas) through the installation of LNG and burned in our power plants. This is justified by the future use of terminals for the import of "green gas" (synthetic gas), which is to be generated by PV electricity in sunny areas and thus make our carbon footprint neutral in the distant future. In this workshop, we learn why gas cannot be "green gas" and how the so-called bridging technologies keep us more and more firmly in carbon lock-in, preventing the much-needed socio-ecological transformation that is so desperately needed for a 100% decarbonized future. Furthermore, we will look at the background of the glorification of natural gas and gain insights into the sectors in which natural gas plays a role and the reasons behind the construction of new LNG terminals and of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This will help us to understand why industry and broad parts of politics are trying to sell us a fossil fuel as the solution to our climate crisis. After gaining a well-founded knowledge base in this workshop, we end up with the question: How and in what form can I become active and stand up for natural gas exit? Because it is clear: there is no Energiewende with natural gas!

Thursday:

Sector integration and energy transport infrastructure – enabler or bottleneck of a fair energy transformation? #clisciety“ by Lia:

Content

The energy transformation is often only related to the electricity sector where it is advancing much faster than elsewhere. There is different ways to classify the sectors to be coupled and integrated:

  1. Household-centered: electricity, heat and mobility

  2. Consumption-centered: Industry, buildings and mobility

  3. Transport infrastructure-centered: electricity, heat and gas/hydrogen (networks)

We will focus on the infrastructure-centered perspective and discuss the current and future energy transportation infrastructure in terms of structuring, operation/control (connected to digitalization) and ownership. The two mainstream pathways of “all-electric society” and “technology mix” will be compared. The first one enforces a more local focus but includes many battery storages with with possibly toxic or unrecycable components and the second one may have a very large need for imported synthetic fuels from renewable sources from other continents.

From a protest culture perspective, we will discuss the following questions: Does a focus on import of "green" fuels lead to neo-colonial structures or does it bring local value proposition for the producing countries? Does a central/global decarbonization solution prevent a local & sufficient one? Does it make sense to protest against large gas/power grid infrastructure to force regional solutions by new stakeholders? If yes, how would this be different (in the media) from right-wing protests against the energy transformation itself?

Structure
  • Part 1: Snowball discussion on pre-knowledge about power, heat and gas grids (2-4-8) – 15min
  • Part 2: Input on the infrastructure regarding technical constitution, institutional setup and policy directions in Germany/Europe - 15min
  • Part 3: Small group discussions on a climate justice perspective on energy transport infrastructure - 45min (different methods)
  • Part 4: Interactive presentation of the results - 15min