A 54 billion-euro nuclear bill / Wind power opponents gather steam
“The 54 billion-euro bill”
On balance, it doesn’t matter how much the decommissioning of atomic power plants and the storage of nuclear waste will cost – it’s already clear that nuclear energy will cost the German economy more than it earned for it, writes Angela Hennersdorf in a feature for magazine WirtschaftsWoche. Based on calculations by consultancy Arthur D. Little and other studies, the WirtschaftsWoche estimates that nuclear energy will have cost the German economy 54 billion euros more than it contributed in earnings. Selling some 5122 terawatt-hours of electricity by the end of 2015 has earned utilities 178 billion euros, plus another 14 billion before the plants are shut down in 2022. But expenses to utilities and the state amount to 246 billion euros, the article says.
Read a CLEW factsheet on the nuclear clean-up costs here.
“Headwinds for the Energiewende”
Wind power opponents are gathering steam through a number of initiatives, write Ulrich Exner and Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. Among these are an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, a constitutional court case, and a new anti-windpower party in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. These groups have sprung up across Germany, where citizens are worried about the high concentration of wind turbines in the landscape, and have complained that these are diminishing their quality of life. The German Environment Agency in Dessau has warned against implementing a distance of 2000 metres between wind turbines and places where people live, as Bavaria has done, according to Die Welt. This would mean the end of the Energiewende, the authors write.
Read the article in German here.
“Moaning about the Energiewende”
Energiewende opponents are using arguments against wind turbines, such as noise pollution and destruction of the landscape that are equally applicable to industry or other infrastructure developments, writes Bernward Janzing in an op-ed for the taz. They would be taken more seriously if they wouldn’t simply reduce their complaints to the issue of wind turbines, he says.
Read the commentary in German here.
Power costs exceed assigned unemployment benefits for electricity usage
People receiving unemployment benefits and living in single households on average pay 27 percent more for power than is covered by the benefits, comparison portal CHECK24 reports. An average single household pays 43 euros for electricity consumption per month, CHECK24 says – long-term unemployed citizens get on average 34 euros per month for energy costs. The situation is worst in the eastern German states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia, where the difference can be up to 130 euros per year. However, if the consumer were to change from the expensive basic supplier tariff to a cheaper power provider, they could save 94 euros on electricity per year, CHECK24 points out.
Read the press release in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet on household power prices in Germany here.
Read a CLEW article on the implications of rising electricity costs here.
Handelsblatt Global Edition
“BMW battery baron at full power”
“BMW shareholder Stefan Quandt had been preparing for a battery boom long before Elon Musk,” write Franz Hubik and Markus Fasse in the Handelsblatt. Quandt’s solar power company Solarwatt will also supply utility E.ON with batteries – possibly Solarwatt’s most important deal ever, the article says. During the crisis of the solar industry, the company slipped into insolvency but with the new focus on intelligent energy systems, including power storage, its prospects for the future are now excellent, the authors say. Quandt has pushed for expanding BMW’s electric mobility for years.
Read the article in English here (behind paywall).
Read a CLEW dossier on the energy transition and the transport sector here.
“Parliament debates digitalisation law”
The federal parliament will hold the first reading/debate on a new law on the digitalisation of the energy transition on Friday afternoon. The law proposal by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is designed to make the distribution and use of power more efficient and better-geared to an increasing amount of renewable energy. One part of it is the installation of smart meters. But consumer groups as well as the Green Party are critical of installing smart meters in private households for data protection reasons, pv-magazine reports. They support smart meters for larger industrial consumers.
Read the article in German here.
“German Economics Ministry: Strong Chinese interest in German Energiewende”
State secretary in the economics ministry Rainer Baake said Germany wants to support China in making the transition to clean energy, after meeting with China’s vice minister for energy Zheng Shanjie on Wednesday, according to the online website IWR. The two ministers discussed how China can make its power network more flexible to deal with fluctuating electricity from renewables, as well as current challenges in the power market, IWR writes. “The build-up of a secure, affordable and environmentally sound energy supply, based on a large share of renewable energy is a strategic goal for China, just as it is for Germany. Germany therefore is happy to support China in moderising its energy system,” Baake said, according to the website.
Read the story in German here.