10 Mar 2016, 00:00
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'Coal battle, next round' / Power trends since Fukushima

Climate Action Network

“Break free from fossil fuels”

Climate activist movement and Climate Action Network have announced a series of peaceful, coordinated actions “to disrupt the fossil-fuel industry’s power by targeting the world’s most dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects” in mid-May. In Germany, the activists plan to stop the digging in one of Europe’s biggest open-pit lignite mines in Lusatia, which Swedish company Vattenfall has put up for sale. “The action will show any future buyer that all coal development will face resistance, and demonstrate the movement’s commitment to a different kind of energy system that prioritizes people and the planet over corporate power and profit,” according to Climate Action Network. Last year, climate activist group “Ende Gelände” entered the pit of a lignite mine in Rhineland. The incident was reported by many media outlets.

Find the Climate Action Network press release in English here.

Find a CLEW factsheet on the Vattenfall sale here.

Read CLEW’s latest article on the coal exit debate in Germany here.



“Coal Battle, next round”

Anti-coal activists joke these days that they enter the battle on behalf of “Climate Chancellor” Angela Merkel, reports Martin Kaul in left-wing newspaper taz. Activists are preparing for the May protests with dozens of meetings, and it seems guaranteed they will be able to mobilise large numbers of people, writes Kaul. “Climate activists consider Germany an important ground, both politically and symbolically.” Swedish and Dutch activists have started bets which country can bring more bus-loads of activists to Lusatia in May, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.


Federal German Association for Brown Coal (DEBRIV)

“Lignite will be needed”

Coal is essential to make the transformation process of the energy transition secure and affordable, according to the Federal German Association for Brown Coal (DEBRIV). “While conventional fossil plants can provide almost one hundred percent supply security, the contribution of renewables to a secure supply is less than one percent of installed capacity,” according to DEBRIV. A debate about a complete coal exit in Germany is premature, argues the association with reference to the government’s Climate Action Plan 2050, which will detail plans to decarbonise the economy. It is to be passed by cabinet in the summer.  

Find the position paper in German here and a summary here.


Agora Energiewende

“Ten central trends of the energy transition in the power sector in the past five years”

The transformation of the German power sector since the Fukushima disaster five years ago has been largely positive, according to energy think tank Agora Energiewende*. Renewable power generation has almost doubled and nuclear generation fell by a third. But an increase in lignite generation, slow advances in efficiency, and a drastic increase in power exports also feature in the think tank’s “central trends of the energy transition” since Fukushima. Public support for the Energiewende has remained strong despite rising household energy costs. But Agora also says the slow decrease in Germany’s CO2 emissions over the past five years is insufficient to reach the government’s 2020 climate target.

Find the paper in German here.

Find the interactive graph “Five years Energy Policy after Fukushima” in English here.

Read CLEW’s overview of Fukushima’s impact on Germany here.


Greenpeace Energy

“Majority of Germans want government to fight EU nuclear projects”

Some 68 percent of Germans believe the government should try to persuade EU countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary not to build nuclear power stations, according to a Greenpeace Energy survey by pollster TNS Emnid. Greenpeace says Chancellor Angela Merkel must defend the German Energiewende and the nuclear exit at a European level.

Find the press release in German here.  


Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

“Energy transition – we’ll make it”

On the fifth anniversary of the tsunami and nuclear accident in Fukushima, Germany’s energy and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a press release: “The nuclear catastrophe of Fukushima five years ago has shown us the dangers of nuclear power. Consequently, the German parliament decided in 2011 – for the second time and this time with a cross-party and societal consensus – to phase-out nuclear power.
“With the energy transition and the remodelling of our energy supply into a system with more and more renewable energies and higher energy efficiency, we want to show that an ecological energy policy can be economically sensible. Much has already been achieved, renewable energies have developed from a niche existence to becoming an important pillar.”

Read the press release in German here.


German Research Center for Biomass (DBFZ)

“First power-to-gas facility with biological methanation inaugurated”

Germany’s first facility to convert excess wind and solar power into biomethane on an industrial scale has been inaugurated, according to a press release by the German Research Center for Biomass (DBFZ). The electricity is used to create hydrogen, which is then converted into methane using highly specialised microorganisms. The methane can be fed into the gas grid and the technology could aid the future integration of the power, heat and transport sectors, which is considered necessary to achieve a decarbonisation of the economy, according to the release.

Find the press release in German here.



 “‘Made in Germany’ means money for solar panel makers eyeing Iran”

German solar firms have “huge sales” opportunities in Iran’s underdeveloped but potentially enormous solar market, according to a government-commissioned report, reports Brian Parkin for Bloomberg. Iran has reinstated 20-year power purchase agreements and set feed-in-tariffs at “highly profitable” rates of 17 to 30 euro cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the 134-page report paid for by Germany’s Foreign Office. “What counts now for German firms is the speed and determination to build business relations” with Iran, said report author Joerg Mayer, who is head of Berlin-based industry group BSW Solar.

Read the article in English here.

Find the Federal Foreign Office’s report in English here.

“German retail power rate stable as share of renewables increases”

The average retail power rate in Germany has been stable for the past four years, even though the share of renewable electricity rose from nearly 25 percent to 32.5 percent, reports Craig Morris in a blog post on “Clearly, renewables are now so competitive that fast growth no longer has a major cost impact – not even in Germany,” writes Morris. “It’s a messy issue, but the main take-away for foreign onlookers is that the cost increase is over in Germany. Anyone adding renewables now can do so affordably, as Germany now shows,” concludes Morris.

Read the post in English here.

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


Cleantechnology business review

“TenneT plans to connect 7.1 GW of offshore wind capacity in Germany by 2019”

TenneT is planning to connect 7.1 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity in Germany by 2019, ahead of the government’s target of 6.5GW by 2020, according to a report in Cleantechnology business review. TenneT last year installed five new direct current (DC) offshore connection systems in Germany, bringing available capacity for transporting wind energy generated at sea to 4.3GW, says the report. The firm has also started developing a new interconnector-project connecting Germany to Norway (NordLink) to increase the supply of renewable energy.

Read the article in English here.


Greenpeace Energy

Suggestion for “list procedure” for equal opportunity of citizens’ energy projects

Green power provider Greenpeace Energy and the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV) have suggested a new procedure to ensure that citizens’ energy projects will continue to be successful under the new Renewable Energy Act (EEG). Their “list procedure” would, for example, enable citizen-owned wind farms to participate in the new auctions for renewables payments, without being sidelined by large competitors, the two institutions say.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the auction plans in the new EEG here.


*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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