20 Feb 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Agency still hopes power lines ready in 2025 / CO2-neutral heating oil

Federal Network Agency

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) wants to “make every effort” to complete three direct current high-voltage power lines connecting Germany’s windy north with the power-hungry south by 2025, the agency says in its 2016 fourth quarter grid development status report. The projects, known as SuedLink and SuedOstLink, were originally scheduled for completion in 2022 when the last nuclear power plant is due to go offline. But BNetzA last year said that the decision by the federal government to preferably put new direct current transmission lines underground delayed the process by about three years.

Read a press release in German here, the report in German here, and find interactive maps in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Most member companies of German oil traders group Avia will only sell “climate-neutral” heating oil in the future, writes Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The group invests in climate protection projects around the globe to save almost the amount of emissions which the heating oil customers emit, writes Mihm. The oil will not be more expensive for the customers, Avia said. The group provides about two percent of heating oil consumed in Germany.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here and find more information on the group’s website in German here.

Deutsche Welle

The German government tried to bring climate and sustainable development into the mainstream of international politics at the G20 foreign affairs minister meeting in light of leadership changes in several member states, writes Irene Quaile for Deutsche Welle. “By putting the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement onto the agenda of a foreign policy and security meeting, the German government lends the issues increased urgency, emphasising their relevance for peace and security,” writes Quaile.

Read the article in English here.

For background read the CLEW article IEA director calls on Germany to lead on climate during G20 presidency.

Frankfurter Rundschau

Former finance minister Hans Eichel advocates for an ecologic tax reform in Germany, he told Frankfurter Rundschau in an interview. This will raise the share of environmental taxes in the country’s total amount of taxes and levies, he says. “Above all, environmentally harmful products, substances and processes must be taxed much higher, otherwise climate protection, energy transition, transport transition and the recycling economy won’t work,” said Eichel.

Read the interview (behind paywall) in German here.

Welt am Sonntag

The strength of the Greens in this autumn’s federal elections will depend on the party’s results in the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in May, says the state’s Energiewende minister and Green politician Robert Habeck in an interview with Welt am Sonntag. “We will now make a great effort in Schleswig-Holstein, then the federation will likely profit as well,” said Habeck. The energy transition will probably be a central campaign topic, especially wind power development. “The construction of wind turbines combined with grid expansion has the potential to divide a state. Look at Bavaria. But it is also a chance to create jobs and new added value,” said Habeck.

Read the interview in German here.

For background on the federal elections read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO

The simple reason why e-car sales languish in Germany, while e-bicycle sales “go through the roof” is that e-cars do not offer users any advantages over conventional cars, writes researcher Tobias Männel in a blog post for the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO. But congested and polluted cities offer the chance to give innovative e-mobility approaches a headstart, Männel argues. He says Germans need to abandon the outdated idea that mobility is equivalent to having a big car. “The real challenge for the transformation of our mobility systems is not the lack of a charging station, but our historic and outdated conception of mobility’s essence.”

Read the blog post in German here.  

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Rising power costs stir people’s emotions because everybody uses electricity and because they suggest a malfunction of government control, writes Til Huber in a commentary for But costs are largely driven by the past solar boom, and recent reforms aim to limit costs. Moreover, more than 90 percent of the population remain in favour of the Energiewende, writes Huber.

Find background on the BDEW numbers in last week’s news digest item Taxes and levies on electricity reach all-time high and the factsheet What German households pay for power.

To find out more about public attitudes, read the factsheet Polls reveal citizens’ support for Energiewende.

Reuters / EnBW

Canadian energy infrastructure group Enbridge has bought a 49.9 percent stake in EnBW's 1.8 billion euro North Sea offshore park Hohe See, reports Maria Sheahan for Reuters. With a planned capacity of about 500 megawatts (MW), Hohe See is one of Europe's largest offshore wind park projects and will be EnBW's biggest park to date. EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux called the park “one of the largest” investment decisions taken in the history of EnBW.

Read the story in English here and find the EnBW press release in English here.

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