29 Jan 2016 | Kerstine Appunn

Call for fair treatment of storage / Citizens important for energy transition success

Energy associations

Call for fair competition conditions for power storage facilities

Energy business associations BDEW, BEE, BNE, BVES, VDMA and VKU have called on the parliamentary committees for energy and environment to establish a uniform standard for power storage facilities. In a letter to the MPs the organisations write that economic conditions for batteries, pumped hydro power and power-to-gas facilities had deteriorated in recent years. The classification of storage as “final consumers” had resulted in these power plants being burdened with high levies and fees. The legislator should ensure that flexible storage, which is essential for the energy transition, is given better conditions in the new power market law, the associations say.

Read the press release and letter to the MPs in German here.

 

EUWID

“Large storage facility gets black start ability”

The WEMAG battery storage facility in Schwerin, northern Germany, will invest in an upgrade so that it in the future can perform a "black start" to restore the electric grid in the event of a black out, EUWID reports. So far, black starts are usually perfomed by conventional power plants, but with the energy transition progressing, WEMAG sees a demand for innovate black start concepts, the article says.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on technologies of the Energiewende here.

 

Frankfurter Rundschau

“More transparency!”

Grid fees are the last big taboo in the power sector, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Rundschau. The toll that every customer pays for the transport of electricity has been much less discussed than the renewables surcharge. This has allowed distribution grid operators to make extra money while invoking their right to company secrets when asked to publish the information used to calculate grid fees. However, distribution grid operators have monopolies, so they don’t need to fear competition, Wenzel points out. The grid expansion and its funding are two very important topics that need greater transparency, he concludes.

See Thursday’s news digest for more on the grid transparency issue here.

 

Deutsche Welle

“Citizens make energy transition a success”

Experts believe that the key to a successful transition from nuclear and fossil fuel usage to an energy system based on renewables is the involvement of citizens, writes Gero Rueter for Deutsche Welle. Feed-in payments that allow citizens, farmers and small communities to invest in renewables have proven helpful both in Germany and Denmark, he writes. In Germany, around half of the renewable power plants have been constructed by citizens as opposed to companies, while it was even 80 percent in Denmark. The same approach could be used to develop renewables in Mexico and African countries, where first examples of citizen energy projects are showing potential.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on citizens’ energy in Germany here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Captive energy”

Hydrogen as a means of storage for renewable power and fuel for electric cars, and other processes, would be a clean way to further the energy transition, writes Christoph Behrens in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Unfortunately hydrogen is very explosive and difficult to store (either under high pressure or cooled down to minus 253 degrees Celsius). Daniel Teichmann, process engineer at his own company “Hydrogenious” has come up with a solution by storing hydrogen in a liquid industrial oil at room temperature and normal pressure. The non-poisonous fluid, called “Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier” (LOHC) can be used to transport hydrogen and when hydrogen is removed from the liquid again it can be used to generate electricity in a fuel cell, Behrens writes.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Alternating current”

Transmission grid operator TenneT will not only build the new direct current power line “South Link” but also the new south-east connection to Bavaria, Christian Sebald reports in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Previously, grid operator Amprion was assigned to build the new power line but since its endpoint had changed due to protests in Bavaria, it now falls into TenneT’s grid area. The line will be largely underground – another precondition by the Bavarian government – and TenneT is now waiting for a new planning framework to be set by the Federal Network Agency.

Read the article in German here.

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