Clean Energy Wire
Germany's would-be governing coalition partners have concluded a treaty that is likely to result in a final deadline for coal-fired power production in Germany. The agreement reached after weeks of intensive talks largely confirms the most important energy and climate policy positions of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) that emerged a few days earlier. However, the deal can still be scrapped by the SPD's members, who will have the final say on the treaty in a vote expected in early March.
Read the CLEW article in English here.
See a CLEW factsheet on the on the treaty's contents on energy, climate and transport here.
Security concerns are delaying the introduction of smart meters in Germany, IT expert Peter Welchering says in an interview with public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk. The intelligent technology is crucial to managing intermittent power supply from renewable energy but, Welchering says, “there probably won’t be happening much in terms of smart meters before 2022” because the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is not satisfied with the security of the meters’ external communication units. A combination of cumbersome policymaking and insufficient transparency on the part of manufacturers has contributed to the delay, with each side blaming the other, Welchering told Deutschlandfunk.
Find the interview in German here.
See the CLEW dossier The digitalisation of the Energiewende for background.
Elements of the Climate Action Programme 2020, which the German government approved in 2014 to close the gap between projected greenhouse gas emissions and the reduction target of 40 percent by 2020, have still not been put into action, Silke Kersting writes for Handelsblatt. A support programme for energy-efficient vehicles that was supposed to save between 1 and 1.5 million tonnes CO2 equivalents had still not been passed.
Read the article in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet on the Climate Action Programme here.
Germany’s most populous federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), plans to expand its solar power capacity, Die Welt online reports. NRW’s economics minister Andreas Pinkwart said the state would cut red tape for new rooftop solar panels, including on historic listed buildings. The state currently has around 150,000 households producing their own power, according to it government. The number of units could rise to 2.6 million by 2030, the article says. Pinkwart said despite progress on deploying renewables, coal and gas plants will continue to play an important role in the state’s energy supply for several decades to come.
Read the article in German here.
Uniper / Handelsblatt
A majority of Uniper’s shareholders has rejected a takeover offer from Finnish utility Fortum, the German fossil fuel utility said in a press release today. Aside from the 46.65 percent share that major shareholder E.ON sold to Fortum, offers from the remaining Uniper shareholders amount to just 0.47 percent. Fortum head Pekka Lundmark said he was satisfied with the 47.12 percent share the company acquired, Jürgen Flauger writes for Handelsblatt. Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer said low interest from Uniper shareholders in Fortum’s offer showed that “the capital market continues to believe in our strategy and our long-term competitiveness as an independent company”.
KfW loaned 10 billion euros to renewable projects worth 15 billion euros in 2015 and 2016, the German development bank said in a press release, supporting 47 percent of all new installations.
Read the evaluation in German here.