Agreement in power market dispute with EU Commission
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
The German government and the EU Commission have reached an agreement on state-aid related aspects of the country’s power market, clearing the way for the “most important reform” since the market liberalisation, German energy minister Sigmar Gabriel told a press conference on Tuesday. The agreement mainly affects Germany’s new power market law, the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and the combined heat and power (CHP) law. It includes the approval of exemptions from the renewables surcharge for power produced by industry for self-consumption with existing plants, unless those facilities are modernised “substantially”. The new law regulating state support for combined heat and power plants will be changed following the agreement, to include tenders for new or modernised facilities with a capacity of 1-50 megawatts.
Read the government’s press release on the agreement here.
Clean Energy Wire
The leaders of the leading industrialised and emerging economies will discuss ways to funnel capital into financing climate measures at the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, on Sept. 4 and 5, a German government official said on Tuesday. The Chinese presidency had put global growth at the top of the agenda, with other individual working sessions on trade, development and financial regulation issues. In the working meeting about financial markets the question of how to channel the capital available globally into green finance would be discussed. “This is the only way to ultimately manage the climate turnaround economically,” the official said. The question of how to take forward the agreement reached at the climate summit COP21 in Paris at the G20 level was part of one of the five sessions, also touching on topics such as health. Germany would also lay out its priorities for its 2017 presidency at the end of the meeting, the official said.
innogy SE / Handelsblatt
RWE subsidiary innogy SE is bolstering its position in energy storage and photovoltaics by signing a contract to take over German solar and battery specialist BELECTRIC Solar & Battery Holding GmbH. The takeover “instantly makes innogy an international player on the market for utility-scale photovoltaic power plants and battery storage technologies,” the company writes in a press release. Peter Terium, Chief Executive Officer of RWE AG and innogy SE, said: “We are now combining our complementary strengths and creating additional impetus to successfully implement our projects in Europe and our growth regions – the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.” In a separate article, Handelsblatt calls the deal with a purchase price in a high double-digit millions of euros “remarkable, given RWE’s difficult financial position.”
Read the article (behind paywall) in English here.
For background information read the CLEW factsheet RWE’s plans for new renewable subsidiary.
The federal government is “increasingly without ambition” regarding concrete steps to fight global warming – with the exception of environment minister Barbara Hendricks – writes Silke Kerstig in an opinion piece for Handelsblatt. Hendricks so far is alone in her battle: “She must get her cabinet colleagues on her side, but also the industry, which has to realise that a reduction in greenhouse gases, as well as entering a real circular economy are in its very own interest.” This week, the plan will finally enter the interministerial coordination process, where it will likely face opposition by the transport and agriculture ministries, writes Kerstig.
Read the CLEW article CO2 targets and coal deadline omitted from Climate Action Plan draft.
The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) claims that cruise ship companies operating in Europe are 'greenwashing'. “For years now, the shipping companies have proclaimed wholeheartedly that they want to become more environmentally friendly. In practice, however, there is hardly anything substantial other than polished PR-texts,” says NABU managing director Leif Miller. In its Cruise Ship Ranking 2016, NABU says that “regarding the environment and health, a cruise on no European ship can be recommended unreservedly”.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
The Association of German Cities warns of driving bans in inner cities if nothing is done about the air pollution caused by diesel vehicles, writes Kerstin Schwenn in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “The targets of the UN climate conference in Paris at the end of 2015 put pressure on city governments,” writes Schwenn. Part of the solution could be the switch from diesel engines to electric motors in public transport, but the cost of e-vehicles would put a high burden on municipal budgets, writes Schwenn.
Read the FAZ article in German here.
WWF / Süddeutsche Zeitung
At more than 40 percent, the lion’s share of the roughly 1.8 million tonnes of palm oil consumed in Germany is used for diesel fuel, according to a study by WWF Germany. “To solve the palm oil problem, one would need to improve cultivation conditions and reduce demand,” the organisation says in a press release. Simply replacing it with other types of oil in German consumption would only lead to more cropland needed and more greenhouse gas emissions. The cultivation of palm oil has “devastating consequences” for the environment and happens under “inhumane working conditions,” writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung in a separate article.
In 2014, the EU already met final energy consumption target values set for 2020 and is on track to reach the target value for primary energy consumption, according to a report by the EU Commission. With a share of 19.7 percent in 2014, Germany was the member state with the highest final energy consumption.
Find the numbers in the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.