Germany will likely phase out power production from coal within the next 30 years, according to state secretary Rainer Baake. “When I look at the stakeholders’ positions, it seems to suggest that the last [coal] power station will likely go offline between 2040 and 2045,” Baake said at an event in Berlin, which was covered by regional broadcaster rbb. “There is an unsolvable contradiction between using lignite for power generation and climate targets,” said Baake, adding that Germany’s consensus for a nuclear phase-out should serve as a blueprint for a coal phase-out.
Read the report in German here.
German utility E.ON could finish this year with another record loss, company sources told German business newspaper Handelsblatt. The sources attributed the potential loss to rising costs of the country’s nuclear exit, spinning off its conventional energy business and low interest rates in the capital markets. “The ‘transitional year’ will be concluded with a horror-result for E.ON,” writes Handelsblatt. The Uniper spin-off alone could lead to high write-offs, as E.ON’s 47 percent share in the new company was on the books at 5.5 billion euros, yet the current valuation of the share is just 2.1 billion euros, according to Handelsblatt.
Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For background on the struggling utilities read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.
Federal Network Agency (BNetzA)
Extreme weather events in Germany led to a slight increase in power outages in 2015, according to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). The average outage per consumer rose to 12.7 minutes from 12.28 minutes in 2014. “The slight increase in supply interruptions was mainly caused by weather events such as storms and heat waves,” the agency’s president Jochen Homann said in a press release. “The energy transition and the rising share of decentral generating capacity continues not to have any negative consequences for the quality of supply.”
Find the press release in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany's electricity grid stable amid energy transition, which will be updated shortly with the new figures.
energytransition.de / Leuphana University
Citizens’ primary motive to get involved in energy cooperations is not personal financial gain, reports Craig Morris on energytransition.de. A new study by researchers from Leuphana University reveals that “personal profits are one of the least important motives – strengthening the community (including financially) is much bigger,” according to Morris: “Citizens see community energy coops not only as a way of making a sound investment, but also of just being a good neighbour.”
Read the blog post in English here.
Find an abstract of Leuphana University’s study in English here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The People’s Energiewende.
EU Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic has welcomed political efforts in Germany to decarbonise road transport, reports bizz energy. In an interview with the magazine, Sefcovic left open whether he would support the initiative by the council of the German federal states (Bundesrat) to set incentives so that all new cars registered in the EU will be emission-free by 2030. He said he wanted to wait for the results of the Commission’s consultation on the issue.
Read the article in German here.
Read the CLEW article German states - New cars in EU should be emission-free by 2030.
More than one year after the start of the VW scandal over illegal emissions manipulations, Europe’s largest carmaker has made slow progress in retrofitting affected cars in Germany, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the government, the use of the illegal software has been deactivated in just ten percent of affected VW diesel cars.
Read the article in German here.
The nuclear waste pact the federal cabinet approved yesterday might be good news for the plant operators, but it sent out the “fatal signal” that Germany’s big four utilities were too large to fail, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Rundschau. “The managers will take note of it with a favourable attitude. In the coming years, they will think of many ways to be directly and indirectly supported by the state,” writes Wenzel.
For background read the CLEW article German utilities buy out of nuclear waste liability for 23.6 bln euros.
The nuclear waste deal is positive because it was in the interest of all citizens that Germany’s large utilities did well in the long term, writes Dieter Keller in an opinion piece for Südwest Presse. Bankrupt energy suppliers would result in even higher costs for the state. “As is so often the case, it’s about pragmatism and the search for the lesser evil,” writes Keller.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
The grand government coalition in Germany failed to recognise that the economy was “the central actor of the new climate movement,” writes German investor Jochen Wermuth in a guest article for German weekly Die Zeit. He calls for more divestment, a hold on subsidies that harm the climate, a tax on CO₂-emissions, a combustion motor “scrapping premium” and a German coal exit. “A decarbonisation of the economy would not lead to a de-industrialisation – quite the opposite: It would set the basis for a green Wirtschaftswunder [economic miracle],” writes Wermuth.