15 Dec 2015
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn

A 'climate of disillusion' / Europe's power prices compared

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Climate of disillusion”

German environment minister Barbara Hendricks did not manage to carry the enthusiasm from the Paris Summit to Berlin, writes Cerstin Gammelin in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “This was not due to the agreement in Paris, but due to the fact that not a single minister or party colleague saw the necessity to bolster up Hendricks, in order to translate the Paris euphoria into a new impetus for the stagnating national initiatives for climate protection”, writes Gammelin.

Read the article in German here.



“Power prices in Europe: A race to the leading positions”

Nowhere in Europe is the difference between power prices for industry and households larger than in Germany, according to an analysis by Strom-Report. German households pay on average 275 percent more than industry (30 cents vs 8 cents), while households pay 19 percent less in Malta (13 cents vs 16 cents), according to the report, which is based on Eurostat data. Household power prices rose by 24 percent in the whole of the EU between 2010 and 2015, while industry prices fell by 2 percent.

Find the analysis in German here.

Read the CLEW factsheet “What German households pay for power” here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Yesterday’s technology”

The Paris Summit sent the clear signal that fossil plants will have to be phased out, but it would be a disaster if the agreement leads to a renaissance of nuclear energy, writes Björn Finke in a commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Coal, oil and gas will not have a future, but nuclear power is also yesterday’s technology,” argues Finke. Any government toying with the idea of building new nuclear plants should consider the huge costs involved in their construction, and also look at Germany’s expensive struggle over how to decommission them, he wrote. “If states bet on nuclear plants, they saddle themselves with enormous follow-up costs. Add to this the risk of something going wrong while operating the plants or at waste disposal.”

Read the article in German here.

Read the CLEW dossier on the challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase out here.


Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut)

“Costs of the Energiewende from a German and international perspective”

The Paris Agreement initiates a new phase of international climate policy and the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) can serve other countries as role model for renewable energy support, according to the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut). A new study by the institute looks at the costs and benefits of this system. “The fall in renewable costs contributed considerably to the Paris Agreement,” said Felix Matthes, the Institute’s research coordinator. “Germany’s early and extensive investments in renewable energies made a considerable contribution to make them cheaper. As a result of this, an energy system on the basis of energy sources like sun and wind can today be run in a practical and cost-effective way.” Matthes argues that a considerable part of the renewable energy surcharge on power prices must therefore be considered advance payment for innovation and cost reductions. 

Find the study in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the Defining Features of the Renewable Energy Act here.


Spiegel Online

“Germany’s double standards: Preaching climate protection but supporting coal”

It is becoming increasingly clear that Germany will miss its climate action targets for 2020, writes Horand Knaup on Spiegel Online. The government puts great hope in the revival of the European Emissions Trading system and in reducing emissions from the building and transport sector. But little of this ambition has actually born fruit, neither in the transport sector where cheap petrol will likely lead to increasing emissions nor in the building and agricultural sector, Knaup writes. Meanwhile, state owned banks are still supporting the financing of coal-fired power stations, Knaup says.

Read the article in German here.



“Ready for dialogue about coal exit”

Hildegard Müller, head of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), said she was surprised that the environment ministry was talking about an exit scenario for coal. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, she said the BDEW was ready to enter into a dialogue with the government but wanted to point out that other sectors like transport and heating also had to do their homework.

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Kerstine Appunn

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