Tagesschau.de / dpa
The nuclear repository commission has decided upon a report advising the parliament on how to proceed in the finding of a final repository for Germany’s nuclear waste. The commission, made up from parliamentarians, scientists and NGOs concluded its two-year work with a range of criteria for determining a storage site and the recommendation to start an open process that doesn’t pre-exclude any areas, dpa reports. The commission agreed on a general export-ban for nuclear waste.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Germany’s eastern European neighbours and Russia are not following the phase-out of nuclear energy that is part of Germany’s energy transition, writes historian Anna Veronika Wendland in a guest article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Eastern Europeans are investing into new nuclear plants and are surprised that Germany gives up its technical leadership in nuclear security and in incorporating atomic plants into grids with a high share of fluctuating renewables.
European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity
To secure the transport of large quantities of renewable power to the main consumption centres in Europe, an extension of the current electricity grid is needed, according to the ten-year network development plan (TYNDP) published by European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). This was the case, even as “local solutions, demand response and storage will play a growing role”, says Konstantin Staschus, ENTSO-E Secretary-General. The TYNDP 2016 includes 200 medium and long-term transmission and storage projects for a total of 150 billion euros.
Deutsche Welle has published a video report showing how utility RWE continues to mine and use lignite for electricity production in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. “Energy giant RWE has been relying on coal for too long now, and its business model is in decay,” says the commentator. New revenues would be hard to find for RWE, because the company had not invested enough in renewable technologies.
Watch the piece in English here.
Find out more about RWE’s plans for new renewable subsidiary in this CLEW article.
Read the CLEW dossier on Utilities and the energy transition.
The reform of the Renewable Energy Act puts the Energiewende at a crossroads, writes political scientist and energy analyst Arne Jungjohann on environmental news website China Dialogue. “So far, citizens, communities and new investors have been the biggest drivers for the energy transition. If the caps and the switch from feed-in tariffs to auctions are implemented, large corporations will dominate the market,” writes Jungjohann, who has close links to the Green party, in a piece explaining the changes. “Slowing down renewables growth to protect old coal plants is not what the world expects from a global climate leader.”
Read the article in English here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet EEG reform 2016 – switching to auctions for renewables.
Please note: The Clean Energy Wire is currently putting the final touches on a Dossier on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act. It will be published shortly.
The transport ministry took more than two months to publish devastating results from its own diesel emission tests, report Klaus Ott and Katja Riedel in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The ministry said it first led many talks with various carmakers to check the “plausibility of the test results”. A ministry fact-finding committee and the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) met 46 times with industry representatives.
Read the report in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.
Do not believe any tests you haven’t faked yourself, is the lesson from the car emissions scandal, writes Jan Heidtmann in a commentary for Süddeutsche Zeitung. He says it is welcome news that the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) will conduct its own tests. That task usually lies with the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). The KBA is too close to the car industry and did not seem to be willing to do proper tests to reveal car emissions that damage people’s health. “At least we could expect tests in the interest of people, rather than the car industry.”
Thyssen-Krupp AG / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
German steel manufacturer Thyssen-Krupp launched a research project on using steel mill gases like nitrogen, methane or hydrogen oxide as resources for chemical materials, writes Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The project, dubbed Carbon2Chem, showed how climate protection and a competitive steel production could be successfully linked thanks to research and innovation efforts in Germany, said federal research minister Johanna Wanka at the presentation of the plans. “The concept is expected to be ready for industrial scale use around 2030,” according to Thyssen-Krupp’s website.
Find out more about the project on Thyssen-Krupp’s website in English here.