21 Feb 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Coal exit "for the price of a beer"/ Vattenfall eyes growth in Germany


Retiring most of Europe’s dirtiest power plants is cheaper than most people think, report Mathew Carr, Tino Andresen, and Brian Parkin for Bloomberg. A price floor of 30 euros per tonne of CO2 - six times the current price - would cost each European citizen about five euros per year through 2025, according to the Institute of Energy Economics (EWI) in Cologne. “The climate challenge is no longer a cost challenge, it’s a redistribution challenge. That makes it less daunting,” EWI managing director Harald Hecking told the authors.

Read the article in English here.

Find an EWI analysis on the topic published on 9 January here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?


Swedish utility Vattenfall wants to grow in Germany after selling all of its lignite activities in the country, report Vera Eckert, Christoph Steitz and Tom Kaeckenhoff for Reuters. The company counts on promising heat operations in its largest foreign market. It aims to break into new areas of growth both in its core cities, Hamburg and Berlin, but also across Germany's onshore and offshore wind industry, Vattenfall's Chief Financial Officer Stefan Dohler told Reuters: "We have a strong position in Germany. We want to stay here. We want to grow here.”

Find the report in English here.

Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene)

The German government neglects the electrification of the rail system, while dreaming of electrifying trucks, according to lobby group Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene). In Germany, 60 percent of rail lines are electrified. This might compare favourably to the EU average of 52 percent, but the country lags behind the leaders Switzerland (100 percent), Belgium (85 percent), the Netherlands and Sweden (76 percent), and Italy (71 percent), among others, according to the alliance of 23 non-profit organisations and over 135 companies from the railway sector.

Read the press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Frankfurter Rundschau

Citizens, politicians, and the industry all agree that Germany’s energy transition must continue - but a clear plan on exactly how does not exist, writes Joachim Wille in Frankfurter Rundschau. “How central or decentral should the Energiewende be designed? Do we want more wind power or more solar PV? Is it to be an energy transition by citizens, by municipal utilities or by the big four power companies – or a mix of all of this?” writes Wille. Studies showed that citizens preferred a more decentralised and locally-rooted transition, and politicians would be well-advised to respect this to avoid protest against new power lines or wind parks, writes Wille.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The Green Party plans to base its campaign for the autumn federal elections on the core topics of environment and climate protection, announced Green parliamentary group head Katrin Göring-Eckhardt, writes Stefan Braun in Süddeutsche Zeitung. She said her party would emphasise the destruction of the environment, the ecologic modernisation of the economy, but also the climate crisis and its significance for global migration currents. Topics such as social justice would not be a priority, as the Social Democrats - with their new frontrunner Martin Schulz - were seen as too strong in these areas, writes Braun.

Read the article in German here.

For background information read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende and the CLEW article German Greens to make coal exit, fossil car ban an election focus.

Bavarian economy and energy ministry

Wind turbines in the German state of Bavaria may be constructed closer to settlements than allowed by current regulation (“10-H rule”), if the local population agrees, writes state energy minister Ilse Aigner in a press release. The rule, enacted in November 2014, proscribes that the minimum distance between a turbine and the nearest settlement must be ten times the turbine's height. Through urban development planning, municipal administrations can now deviate from this rule.

Read the press release in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet German federalism: In 16 states of mind over the Energiewende.

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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Sven Egenter

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