Energiewende scores mixed results - McKinsey index
Germany is still likely to miss key Energiewende goals, including its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target, even as household power prices continue to rise, according to McKinsey’s bi-annual Energiewende-Index report. At 30.8 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh), household power prices are "well above the EU average" of 20.5 ct/kWh, writes McKinsey. Industry power prices fell more than in other European countries, yet remained 13.4 percent above the European average. McKinsey judged the energy transition on 14 different indices, finding that Germany is only likely to meet its targets on five. Among them are employment in power-intensive industries and the renewables sector, and renewable power production. Germany has already reached its 2020 target of getting 35 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
For background on Energiewende targets read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets.
Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) / Association of German Retailers (HDE)
Fairer distribution of the costs of the Germany's energy transition could save consumers and the retail sector up to 5.2 billion euros, according to a joint paper from the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) and the Association of German Retailers (HDE). Industry is the biggest power consumer, yet retail and private consumers pay the most for the Energiewende, the paper says. It proposes:
- Lowering the electricity tax to minimum EU tax rate
- Reducing the liquidity reserve in Germany’s green energy account
- Ending industry exemptions from the renewables levy for self-consumption
- Ending power grid fee industry exemptions
- Abolishing the regulation on interruptible loads
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future.
The future of coal-fired power generation is going to be one of the coalition talks’ most delicate matters, Michael Bauchmüller says in an article for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “All other energy policy issues pale in comparison to the coal question,” he writes. Coal power plants are responsible for around a third of German greenhouse gas emissions, so an accelerated phase-out would allow Chancellor Angela Merkel to make good on her promise to reach the country's 2020 climate target. The Free Democrats (FDP) oppose “banning-policies” and call for market-based incentives instead.
Read the article in German here.
For background on the coalition talks read the CLEW factsheets Coalition watch – The making of a new German government and The long road to a new government coalition in Germany and on coal check out When will Germany finally ditch coal?
YouGov / Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv)
An online survey by YouGov found that 82 percent of Germans support central goals of the energy transition - to phase out nuclear power and switch to a renewable energy supply in the long term. Commissioned by Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv), the survey found that 61 percent of respondents supported the idea of switching from the current consumption-based levy to tax-based financing of some of the costs involved in the energy transition, YouGov says.
Find the results in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Polls reveal citizens' support for Energiewende.
Bild am Sonntag
Implementing the Paris Climate Agreement must be a priority in the upcoming coalition talks, according to German economic cooperation and development minister Gerd Müller (CSU). Müller set out a 5-point plan for climate protection in Bild am Sonntag. He also called for greater financial resources and powers for his department, so that it could become the country's “international climate ministry”. Germany should promote the global energy transition by supplying other countries with technology, know-how and investment in renewable energy, he writes. “Every euro that we invest in climate protection in Africa is 100 times more effective than here.”
For background on the coalition talks read the CLEW factsheets Coalition watch – The making of a new German government and The long road to a new government coalition in Germany.
Schleswig-Holstein’s state energy minister Robert Habeck (Green Party) has said NordLink – a direct power connection between Norway and Germany, currently under construction – is an important step for the European energy transition, Olaf Preuß reports for Welt Online. The transmission line will allow the exchange of Norwegian hydropower and German wind energy. “With NordLink, the Energiewende becomes a European project. That’s a must," Habeck said at the topping out ceremony for a transformer station for the future power line. "We can only reach climate targets if we think beyond our own borders.”
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.
New York Times
Supporters of Germany’s move to decarbonise its economy say the country is in danger of falling behind rivals like China and the United States in the fast-growing business of developing and exporting clean-energy technologies, Stanley Reed writes for the New York Times. “And without new direction, they say, the country will most likely fail to meet its carbon emissions targets,” he writes.
Read the article in English here.
Check out CLEW’s Easy Guide to Germany’s Energiewende as a first, simple introduction to the country’s energy transition.