Big govt tax loss if fuel rod tax expires / A union embraces coal exit
Green Budget Germany
The German government could lose 3.9-5.8 billion euros in taxes by 2022, if the nuclear fuel rod tax is not extended beyond the end of this year, according to an analysis by NGO Green Budget Germany, commissioned by green power supplier NATURSTROM. “Producing nuclear waste tax-free – waste whose storage will preoccupy future generations for thousands of years – that’s not right,” said Thomas Banning, chairman of NATURSTROM in a press release. The tax is payable by nuclear power station operators whenever they use new fuel elements in their reactors and is currently to run out at the end of this year.
Service sector trade union ver.di’s has said that a fair coal exit in Germany is possible and can be financed, a statement that could alter the course of the current discussion among Social Democrats, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Rundschau. Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, a Social Democrat, has so far opposed settting a deadline for a coal exit, fearing large losses in next year’s national and state elections “if a coal exit with job losses becomes a campaign topic,” writes Wenzel.
Read the CLEW article Ministry avoids concrete targets in weakened Climate Action Plan and the CLEW factsheet Germany’s trimmed-down Climate Action Plan for background.
Germany and Norway have started construction on NordLink, the first direct power line between the two countries that will allow the exchange of renewable energy from 2019 on, reports dpa. The 620 kilometre long, mostly underwater transmission line showed “how well grid expansion in [the northernmost German state] Schleswig-Holstein works,” said Robert Habeck, the state’s energy transition minister.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.
RWE’s majority-held subsidiary innogy is advertising its renewable energy in the Rhineland, a campaign completely at odds with RWE's own operation of lignite power plants in the region, says Greenpeace energy expert Karsten Smid in the Handelsblatt. “The campaign will backfire,” Smid told the newspaper. Innogy is using the the slogan “Rhineland becomes Cleanland. Energy becomes innogy.”
Read the article in German here.
Find background information in the CLEW factsheet RWE’s plans for new renewable subsidiary.
The British government’s decision to approve the nuclear power plant Hinkley Point is a step “forward into the past,” despite the “laudable” goal to reduce carbon emissions, writes Björn Finke in an opinion piece for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. However, Germany should take the gradual British shut down of coal-fired power plants “absolutely as an example.”
Read the opinion piece in German here.