10 Aug 2016
Sören Amelang Edgar Meza

E.ON writes off billions on fossil plants / Diesel car bans on hold


German energy group E.ON SE posted a first-half loss of 3 billion euros following 3.8 billion euros in charges linked to the stock market listing next month of the company’s Uniper division, which comprises its fossil fuel assets, Tino Andresen writes in Bloomberg. The figure is down from E.ON’s 1.15 billion euro profit a year earlier. The company’s adjusted net income in the first half of 2016, not including Uniper, dropped 28 percent to 604 million euros.

Read the article in English here.

Read EON’s press release in English here.

Find background material on E.ON's troubles in the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.

Berliner Morgenpost

The environment ministry has put plans to facilitate diesel car bans in cities on hold, reports newspaper Berliner Morgenpost. State secretary Jochen Flasbarth told the paper that plans for the introduction of a “blue badge” were put on ice until a transport ministry’s working group could table its own proposals to reduce emissions in autumn. “Blue badges” would give cities a legal basis for banning older diesel cars in order to bring harmful nitrogen oxide emissions within EU limits. The transport ministry and business groups had opposed the plans, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.

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

PV Magazine

So far just 25 percent of the winning bids in Germany’s first auction for ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, held in April 2015, have been realised, Sandra Enkhardt writes in PV Magazine. Of the projects selected in the country’s second large-scale solar auction, only 27 percent had been installed through the end of July, according to the German government. Germany’s Federal Network Agency allocated a total of 316 megawatts across 58 successful project bids in the first two solar auctions held last year. Developers have two years to realise their projects, many of which could go into operation towards the end of that period.

Read the article in German here here.

For background on the transition to renewable auctions, read the CLEW dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Electricity prices in Germany are going up, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. Of 832 public utilities and local power companies, 244 have announced price hikes of 3 percent on average since the beginning of the year — an increase that matched that of Germany’s renewable energy surcharge this year. Only 87 electricity providers reported price reductions of 2.5 percent on average. Overall, basic electricity prices for German consumers rose by 1.3% on average. The average price for 4,000 kilowatt-hours, approximately the annual consumption of a four-person household, was 1,196 euro in December 2015; in August 2016, the same amount costs 1,212 euro.

For more information on this subject, read the CLEW article Renewable energy levy set to rise in 2017 – think tank.

Die Welt

Despite government-backed financial incentives, electric vehicles have been slow to take off in Germany, Die Welt reports. The government’s ambitious goal to have a million electric cars on the streets by 2020 has now become unattainable, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The country is more likely to achieve half that figure, PwC predicts. The business consulting group expects the current subsidy incentive for buyers of electric or hybrid plug-in vehicles to have little impact on its forecast. There are currently some 40,000 electric and plug-in hybrids registered in Germany. PwC’s forecast reckons with a 900 percent increase in e-car purchases between 2016 and 2020.

Read the aricle in Germany here.

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

Some 350,000 households in Germany are unable to pay the power bills, Craig Morris writes in The figure is available in data provided by Germany’s Federal Network Agency. Such statistics, however, remain largely unavailable in leading western nations. According to Eurostat data, the percentage of German households unable to pay energy bills on time is well below other European countries. In 2014, 4.2 percent of German households were behind on their monthly utility bills, but only 0.9 percent actually had their power shut off.

Read the article in English here.

For more background, see the CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power and the article Welfare groups urge power cost relief for German poor.

A study by Agora Energiewende* found that rules regulating electricity markets in the countries of Central Western Europe vary widely from each other, making it difficult for the nations to optimally use the flexibility of the electricity system. Efficiency losses due to incompatibility occur repeatedly during electricity trade between CWE countries, which include Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The countries are working to develop better integration of their electricity markets with the primary aim of meeting the increasing demands for flexibility arising from the expansion of photovoltaics and wind power. “The alignment of the market regulations is a key prerequisite to enabling renewable energies to be successfully and cost-efficiently deployed in the European electricity system," said Agora director Patrick Graichen. "This is a necessary step if we are to increase the share of renewable energies in the European electricity mix to around 50 per cent by 2030.”

For background, read the CLEW dossier Germany's energy transition in the European context.


*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

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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