04 Aug 2016, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Energy consumption on the rise / Higher re-dispatch costs in 2015

CORRECTION: Update corrects estimated costs for re-dispatch measures in 2015 to 402.5 million euros (not 404.5 million) in second item.

AG Energiebilanzen

Primary energy consumption in Germany rose by 1.6 percent in the first six months of 2016, compared to the same period last year, the AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB) reports. The reasons are the colder weather at the beginning of the year, a growing economy, and an increase in population, the researchers say. The use of hard coal, lignite and nuclear power fell, the consumption of natural gas rose and renewables also increased their contribution to total energy consumption.

Read the press release in German here.

Federal Network Agency (BNetzA)

The costs for so called re-dispatch measures, necessary to keep the power grid stable in times of high power input and lacking grid capacities, have increased to 402.5 million euros in 2015 compared to 185.4 million euros in 2014, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) reports. Instead of 5,197 gigawatt-hours of re-dispatch capacity, transmission grid operators needed to purchase 16,000 gigawatt-hours. An additional 478 million euros had to be paid in 2015 to renewable power producers in compensation for their electricity not being fed on to the overburdened grid (up from an estimated 183 million euros in 2014). The figures are based on the calculations of Germany’s four transmission grid operators who organise and pay for re-dispatch measures and other grid interventions. The costs are passed on to consumers as part of the grid fee households pay via their electricity bills.

Read the report in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid.

Energiewende ministry Schleswig-Holstein / TenneT

Transmission grid operator TenneT and the Energiewende ministry of northern German state Schleswig-Holstein report that 3,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable electricity had to be curbed in 2015 because of imminent grid congestions. Congestion events should be reduced by 2017 because of new grid capacities being built, the ministry said in a press release. The state will also launch pilot projects to incentivise flexible power usage by industrial consumers, electric vehicles, storage facilities and heat suppliers. Schleswig-Holstein produced more renewable energy in 2015 than it consumed.

Read the press release in German here.

Der Tagesspiegel

The new Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 contributes little to solving environmental problems, writes Dagmar Dehmer in an opinion piece for Der Tagesspiegel. “Not using the federal transport infrastructure plan as an element of a climate concept is a failure by the entire government,” writes Dehmer. It was a “missed opportunity to shape policy” that most likely won’t be altered by the members of parliament in the legislative process, either: “More likely, the usual wish list will be brought forth in the Bundestag and Bundesrat; a motorway section here, a ring road there.”

Read the opinion piece in German here.

German utility EnBW has acquired independent service provider Connected Wind Services with the aim of becoming a “significant player” in the wind turbine service and maintenance market, the company said in a press release. With the acquisition, “EnBW is strengthening its position as a full-service provider for the planning, construction, operation, maintenance and service of wind farms”, writes EnBW.

Read the press release in English here.

Read the CLEW article Can Germany’s energy giants change their DNA?


German utility E.ON and its fossil fuel spin-off Uniper will write-off several billion euros after Uniper’s IPO planned for September, writes Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt, citing company sources. This was because of unrealistically high projections for Uniper’s net book value in the spin-off report at the beginning of this year, writes Flauger. Handelsblatt said E.ON and Uniper did not comment on the possible need to write-off. However, an E.ON spokesperson told the newspaper: “At the Capital Market Day in London in April we have already made clear that Uniper would be in our books with its market value after its listing, and that there might be a need for correction.” The reasons were the continued low resources and electricity prices, according to the spokesperson.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.


Swedish state owned utility Vattenfall’s sale of its German lignite coal operations is facing a new delay, writes Jürgen Flauger in the Handelsblatt. The necessary approval by the European Commission was pending and will probably not be ready before autumn, the company said. A critical question could be whether Vattenfall has supported the deal with Czech utility EPH by giving them illegal state aid, Flauger says. Vattenfall sold the lignite operations for a symbolic price and will pay the buyer a billion euro premium for the obligations of renaturalising former mines.

Greentech Media

German storage specialist Younicos is predicting big growth in Germany’s commercial and industrial (C&I) storage sector in light of a large increase in solar-plus-storage installations in 2015, writes Greentech Media. “Many C&I customers see the falling cost of PV and batteries and would like to become greener, which includes getting more of their power from renewable energy sources,” Younicos’ spokesperson Philip Alexander Hiersemenzel told Greentech.

Read the article in English here.

IBC Solar

Photovoltaics specialist IBC Solar is developing a solar park tailored to the needs and possibilities of energy cooperatives, thereby adapting to changes brought on by the reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). Solar PV parks with a capacity of up to 750 kilowatts will continue to be exempt from the auction system and qualify for the set feed-in tariffs. In a press release, the company says that its goal by building small parks is to enable energy cooperatives to better participate in the Energiewende. IBC Solar will take on the complete project development and carry all costs and risks involved until the construction is completed. The park will then be offered exclusively to the cooperative.

Read the press release in German here.

German Solar Industry Association / R&D for Photovoltaics

Increasing the efficiency is key to exploiting the cost reduction potential of solar PV facilities, say 58 percent of research and development experts from solar companies surveyed by the German Solar Industry Association (BSW). The improvement of quality and longevity (50 percent) and optimising the production process, as well as lowering the material cost through substitution or reduction (both 42 percent), were also mentioned. Costs have already been brought down by 90 percent in the past decade, according to a press release.

Find the press release and some results of the survey in German here.

Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

Those with a higher income use more energy and resources, regardless whether they consider themselves to be environmentally aware or not, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has found in a study. “A higher income is often used for bigger cars, larger flats and more frequent flying,” said UBA president Maria Krautzberger. Buying organic food and sorting waste does not offset these higher CO2 emissions, the study found. The group of “environmentally aware average consumers”, however, does combine a relatively high income and high environmental awareness to achieve a reduced energy consumption, for example by buying smaller cars, use car-sharing and reduced meat consumption.

Get the UBA study in German here.

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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