An unrealistic dream: Georg Brasseur on green energy self-sufficiency in Europe

Interview: How can the energy transition succeed?

Georg Brasseur is an engineer and teaches at Graz University of Technology. His maxim: We need a technical vision of how the global energy transition can succeed at all. Using Europe as an example, he shows with simple calculations that neither green energy self-sufficiency is possible nor a solution that relies entirely on electricity (all-electric). With his proposal, Brasseur pleads for learning from nature and imitating it. After all, nature has been experimenting and developing solutions for millions of years. He relies on transportable and storable energy carriers. For Brasseur, hydrogen is not one of these in the strict sense, but it is a crucial preliminary product that should also be used locally. Brasseur himself prefers synthetic methane that can be fed into the existing gas grids to gradually replace fossil methane. Gas power plants to stabilise the electricity grid could thus be used for a long time to come. But other synthetic hydrocarbons are also possible. Finally, Brasseur pleads for global cooperation between North and South so that developing countries can produce “drop-in-fuels” themselves to build up their own prosperity. He sees this as an important contribution to securing peace.