Grid operators have to intervene ever more often to stabilise the grid due to the rapid expansion of wind power, writes Franz Hubik in business daily Handelsblatt. The blackout prevention cost 1 billion euros in 2015 and the grid agency warns that annual costs could rise to 4 billion euros by 2022, when the last nuclear power station is due to be switched off in Germany. The association of energy intensive businesses (VIK) warns that if renewables’ share rises as scheduled to 45 percent by 2025, costs could explode, endangering German competitiveness.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Industrial power prices and the Energiewende.
Bavarian storage manufacturer sonnen will offer a free power flat rate to consumers that install the company’s integrated solar PV and home storage systems, sonnen announced in a press release. The flat rates will be financed with revenues the company receives from offering its customers’ storage capacity in the balancing power market, where prices are higher than in the regular markets. Up until now, sonnen only received permission for the Swiss market, but will nonetheless offer the flat rate to German customers as well, writes pv magazine in an article. The home systems are connected to the grid and each other in a virtual power plant, thus being able to provide the size and reliability needed for balancing power. Customers produce about three quarters of the electricity they need themselves and receive the rest externally, writes pv magazine.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen’s reversal of tone on the Energiewende could be seen as simple pragmatism, or shirking responsibility, writes Christoph Eisenring in an opinion piece in Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Teyssen used to criticise Germany’s transition away from fossil fuels for driving up the cost of electricity and endangering supply security. After having spun off the company’s conventional energy division, Teyssen now heads the renewables arm and hails the changes. “Teyssen has eaten chalk,” writes Eisenring, referring to the old fairy tale ‘The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids’.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
Find background information in the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
E.ON fossil-fuel spin-off Uniper’s IPO revealed the difficult situation both companies face in the near future, writes Helmut Bünder in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “The first day of trading became the day of truth. The market valuation fell miles short of the book value that was set unrealistically high. Many billions will vanish into thin air, new extraordinary write-downs will pull E.ON into the red figures – not unexpected, but still bitter.”
In light of fluctuating supply and congestions in the power grid, the wind power sector has to increase its focus on surrounding infrastructure and technology, such as storage, smart grids and data streams, to cope with the challenges of the Energiewende, Hans-Dieter Kettwig, chairman of Germany’s largest wind turbine manufacturer Enercon, told Handelsblatt in an interview. “We must advance a lot more practical projects and step on the gas. If we as ‘the renewables’ aspire to be systematically relevant, then we must be able to perform.”
Read a CLEW dossier New technologies for the Energiewende.
Exempting citizens’ energy projects from subsidy auctions for green power fed into the grid – laid out in the Renewable Energy Act reform – could ensure the continued presence of these small decentralised companies and thus the population’s support for the country’s energy transition, according to Andreas Wieg of the German cooperatives association DGRV, writes Rebecca Harvey for Co-operative News. Acceptance by communities could be created by financial incentives: “If you were getting 200 euros a year for a wind turbine in your back yard, would you have a problem with that? Possibly not,” said Wieg.
Read the article in English here.