Citizens' energy "big winner" of first German onshore wind auction
Federal Network Agency / BMWi
“Citizens' energy is the big winner” of Germany’s first round of onshore wind power auctions, said Rainer Baake, state secretary in the economy ministry (BMWi), in a press release on the results. 93 percent of all successful bids for the auctioned 807 megawatts came from citizens' energy cooperatives, which will receive a remuneration of 5.78 or 5.58 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh), depending on the region, said the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in a press release. The average support rate for all successful bidders was 5.71 kWh. With 70 successful bids out of a total of 256, the auction had a “pleasantly high competition level,” BNetzA president Jochen Homann said. Only 5 percent of all bids had to be rejected due to formal errors, it added, saying that “bidders understood the procedure.”
Read the press release in German here.
See the CLEW factsheet High hopes and concerns over onshore wind power auctions for background.
The Clean Energy Wire will publish an article on this topic later today.
Russian oil company Rosneft is set to increase its business activities in Germany, Daniel Wetzel writes in Welt Online. Russia’s largest oil producer is doubling its investments in the country to 600 million euros over the next five years, CEO Igor Sechin said in Berlin. The company also plans to connect southern Germany to its eastern European grid by building a direct pipeline to Rosneft’s refineries near Karlsruhe and Ingolstadt, Wetzel writes. Rosneft is now Germany’s third largest refiner and provides 25 percent of the country’s crude oil imports, he explains. The EU together with the US has imposed economic sanctions on Rosneft due to Russia’s role in the war in eastern Ukraine, which Sechin called “a sign of weakness,” Wetzel writes.
Read the article in German here.
Also see the CLEW factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
The Social Democratic Union (SPD) wants a nationwide alignment of grid fees, SPD’s energy politician and member of the Bundestag Hubertus Heil told news agency Dow Jones. The grand coalition’s (CDU/CSU, SPD) federal cabinet had introduced a draft for a grid fee reform in January without provisions to standardise fees. Former economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, also a Social Democrat, had backtracked on plans to standardise grid fees, because of the state elections in North Rhine Westphalia, where grid fees currently are lower, writes Dow Jones. Now, after the election, the Social Democrats in parliament want to put the corresponding provisions back into the draft currently debated in the Bundestag, writes Dow Jones.
Read the article in German here.
For background read the CLEW factsheet Power grid fees- Unfair and opaque?
Zukunft Erdgas / GfK
A large majority of Germans (82 percent) believe that the Energiewende is an important project which they personally consider the right thing, but many think that costs are too high, according to a survey by research company GfK, commissioned by natural gas industry group Zukunft Erdgas. 92 percent of respondents say that the energy transition should be better organised by the government.
For more surveys on the Energiewende read the CLEW factsheet Polls reveal citizens' support for Energiewende.
Germany climbed one rank and is in fourth place on business consultancy Ernst & Young’s (EY) Renewable energy country attractiveness index (recai), trailing China, India and the United States. EY ranks 40 countries on their attractiveness for renewables investment and deployment opportunities based on energy market and technology indicators.
Find the report in English here.
For background read the CLEW dossier The energy transition's effect on jobs and business.
Mercedes-Benz Energy / Vivint Solar / NYTimes
Mercedes-Benz Energy teams up with US solar energy company Vivint Solar to bring Mercedes-Benz’s home energy storage system to California, the companies announced in a press release. Mercedes has been selling the batteries in Europe and South Africa this year but the partnership represented the entrance into the US market, The New York Times reports.
Read the article in English here and find more information on Mercedes-Benz Energy’s website.
For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
dpa / Welt Online
An initiative by Germany’s right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to increase the minimum distance between two wind farms failed to find a majority in the state’s parliament, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Welt Online. The AfD had called for expanding the minimum distance from 2.5 to 5 kilometres, which would have made wind power expansion in the coastal state “almost impossible,” according to energy minister Christian Pegel (SPD).
Read the article in German here.
A significant drop in the price of PV modules has so far had only a moderate effect on solar power investments in Germany, according to website strom-report.de. Prices for PV modules fell by more than 70 percent between 2010 and 2016 while at the same time investments contracted by about 90 percent from 19.5 billion euros to 1.58 billion euros, strom-report.de says. The parallel decrease in renewables support, which is said to have negatively affected solar power’s expansion in Germany, stood at only 64 percent, it adds. strom-report.de noted, however, that newly installed capacity did not decline as much as investment. “Further price decreases, stable feed-in tariffs and new target markets could revive PV expansion. The industry is optimistic,” strom-report.de says.
Read the analysis in German here.
See the CLEW article on German module producer SolarWorld’s insolvency for background.
Germany needs a reform of its renewables support system to bring down costs for power consumers but Berlin lacks “the political will” to do anything before the federal elections in September, writes Angela Hennersdorf in an opinion piece for WirtschaftsWoche. It would be “so easy to reduce” the renewables levy for consumers, for example by using power tax revenues to finance renewables development, or extending the levy to fossil fuels such as oil, gas and petrol, writes Hennersdorf.
Read the opinion piece (behind paywall) in German here.
Also read the CLEW factsheets Defining features of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future and the CLEW article Last major German solar cell maker surrenders to Chinese competition.