CO2 storage reconsidered / Utilities want clarity, security in nuclear pact
Germany is reconsidering its position on underground CO2 reservoirs, in order to help reach emissions reduction targets agreed in the Paris climate agreement, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt, citing the latest version of the Climate Action Plan 2050, circulating in the federal environment ministry. In 2012, the German government had put strict regulations on the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, which involves pumping carbon dioxide emissions under ground to remove it from the atmosphere, after it came under public scrutiny, he writes. Scientists and the German government know that without this technology, the 1.5 percent cap on global warming will not be attainable, Wetzel said in a separate article in Die Welt.
Read the article in Die Welt in German here.
Read a second article in Die Welt on the same topic in German here.
Germany’s big four utilities want greater security and clarity on costs they will incur from the nuclear phase-out, and are proposing detailed contracts with the government, writes Angela Hennersdorf in Wirtschaftswoche. The contracts would establish how much each company pays into a fund for the nuclear clean-up and would require the government to pay a penalty if it doesn’t stick to the agreement, she writes.
Read the article in German here.
Read the CLEW factsheet Securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
Maize crops in Germany have risen by 73 percent since 2000, driven by biogas production, and critics say it is causing problems for the environment and eroding the diversity of crops, writes Sebastian Balzter in the Frankfurter Allemeine Sonntagszeitung. No other crop in Germany has increased in volume as much as maize, he writes. This has been driven by subsidies from the Energiewende, which benefit power produced by renewables. As of next year, however, the state will reduce these subsidies as part of its Renewable Energy Act (EEG) reform, with potentially negative effects on the 8,000 biogas production facilities in Germany, he writes.
The Munich-based Memedo, which focuses on sales of energy storage systems tripled its sales of power storage systems in 2015 to around 1500 units, Memedo’s head Daniel Schmitt says in Windkraft-Journal.de. Its rise to the top-seller of such systems was due mainly to the fact that it was the first German wholesaler to receive the Tesla Powerwall for home power storage, according to the website. Other companies, such as Mercedes-Benz and LG Chem that offer systems for home power producers, are also driving sales of this technology forward.
Read the article in German here.
In an interview with Gitta Düperthal, Manfred Maresch, head of the district German mining union in the lignite coal town of Alsdorf, says the union is not against the Energiewende. Instead, he says, it is concerned about the social implications of shutting down coal. “For people and the economy, the Energiewende must remain affordable,” he says. The interview was conducted during the “Climate Camp” held by activists in favour of shutting down the lignite coal mines in the area.
Read the interview in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet on coal in Germany here.
Acatech – German National Academy for Science and Engineering
A new study by acatech, the German National Academy for Science and Engineering, looks at supply and demand for raw materials in modern energy technologies, and asserts that enough supply is available to meet demand. The challenge lies in meeting demand in an affordable and socially and environmentally acceptable manner, the study says.
Find the study here.