Coal exit ‘requires masterplan’ / Cheap oil has ‘high costs’
“Gabriel needs a masterplan”
The Paris Agreement has shown that coal will need to be phased out faster than currently planned, writes Joachim Wille in a commentary for Frankfurter Rundschau. He argues that energy minister Sigmar Gabriel was right to announce a round table on the issue. “But it is hard to understand why Gabriel explicitly rejects a ‘masterplan’ for the coal exit. Does he want to suggest it might be possible to extend the life of an energy form that is the most important climate killer? That would be wrong, and would have fatal consequences. A masterplan is exactly what is needed to get clarity on energy and regional policy.”
Read a CLEW article on Gabriel’s announcement of a round table here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
No details yet on participants and date of round table on coal
It is still uncertain who will be invited to the round table on the future of coal announced by energy minister Sigmar Gabriel, according to the energy ministry, reports Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A date for the talks is also yet to be agreed. Gabriel’s reservations against a “masterplan” for a coal exit pushed shares of utilities RWE and E.ON higher, according to the report.
“More market, less state”
Energy minister Sigmar Gabriel stressed in his speech at the Handelsblatt energy conference that market forces are to play a larger role in future German energy policy. “For producers of wind and solar power, the energy minister’s announcement means hard times lie ahead,” says business daily Handelsblatt's own report on the speech. The authors point to the reform of the Renewable Energy Act, which is pending this year. The government wants to further the transition to auction-based renewable support.
Find the CLEW factsheet on the Renewable Energy Act’s defining features here.
Read the CLEW article “Auctions to set the price for wind and solar – the debate” here.
“The high costs of cheap oil”
Politicians must not overlook the immense geopolitical risks associated with cheap oil, nor should they assume it will stay cheap, writes Nikolaus Piper in a commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The only consequence can be to keep up investments in renewable energies, even if their profitability looks bad at the moment. This is not just a question of climate protection, but of supply security,” writes Piper.
Read his commentary in German here.
Find a CLEW dossier on renewables and supply security here.
Survey - Efficiency loses importance for those looking to rent or buy property
Energy issues have lost importance for people looking to rent or buy a property, according to a representative survey by pollster YouGov for green power provider Lichtblick. Only 47 percent of respondents said good insulation was a central criterion for their property choice, compared to 63 percent a year ago.
Find the poll in German here.
Read a CLEW dossier on the role of efficiency here.
“EU commission against splitting market area”
The EU commission is against plans by the European grid agency ACER to split Germany and Austria’s common electricity market, reports Montel. “We are in conversation with (ACER director Alberto) Pototschnig, but our position is that we do not consider it sensible,” Mechthild Wörsdörfer, who is in charge of energy policy at the Commission, told Montel.
Find the report in German here.
Read a CLEW report on Acer’s recommendation to split the trading zone here.
Read a CLEW article explaining how excess German power strains Europe’s grids here.
The split of Germany’s two utility giants may mean they could be worth more than the current share prices suggest, write Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert in a Reuters report. “The break-ups planned by Germany's troubled power utilities E.ON and RWE promise a sum of the parts value that is now far greater than their current market prices, analysts say, suggesting the share prices have hit rock-bottom.” Both utilities want to split off renewables from fossil fuel power generation.
Read the report in English here.
Find a CLEW dossier on the utilities troubles with the Energiewende here.
“A wise Energiewende is not too expensive”
The “hysterical debate” about the costs of Germany’s energy transition ignores the fact that the 24 billion euros currently paid by consumers is not a true cost, writes energy expert Claudia Kemfert in a commentary for a newsletter by economic research institute DIW. The money is instead an investment for economic growth and jobs, she writes. The shift to an auction-based system, as currently planned by the energy ministry, has not led to lower costs in other countries, according to Kemfert. “The true tsunamis of energy costs arise elsewhere – caused by the legacies of nuclear power, and environmental degradation due to climate change,” writes Kemfert. “Today’s investments are investments for the future. The longer we postpone them, the more expensive it will get eventually.”
Find the commentary in German here.