“Gas makes a (small) comeback in Germany”
There are signs that gas turbines have become profitable again in Germany, even though they continue to produce very little power, Craig Morris reports on energytransition.de. Gas power plants are considered a better compliment to wind and solar power than coal or nuclear, but were pushed out of the market by cheaper coal and low carbon emissions prices. “The low gas price is making natural gas profitable even at a very low number of operating hours,” writes Morris. “In all likelihood, the situation will not change for gas turbines fundamentally until the last six of the remaining eight nuclear plants are shut down in 2021/2022.” According to Morris, the question is whether Germany’s gas turbine fleet can remain in business until then.
Read the article in English here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on the merit order effect here.
“Billionaire neighbours embrace dirty fuel shunned by Germany”
Three competing Czech investors want to tap Germany’s shift to clean energy by buying some of the country’s dirtiest lignite plants from Swedish utility Vattenfall, report Ladka Mortkowitz Bauerova, Marek Strzelecki and Tino Andresen for Bloomberg. “The Czech trio, adept at squeezing profits from the cheapest and dirtiest coal, may sense a bargain as the Swedish government, Vattenfall’s only shareholder, pressures the utility to exit the business,” write the authors. “They are also betting that Germany’s need for lignite to guarantee energy security for years to come will eclipse concerns over emissions.”
Read the article in English here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / dpa
“Opel announces new electric car”
German carmaker Opel, a subsidiary of General Motors, will offer a new pure electric vehicle in Europe next year. GM CEO Mary Barra said during a visit to Germany the “Ampera-e” will have a larger range than most other e-cars and will be comparatively cheap, according to a report in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. GM has also announced the model in the US for next year, under the name Chevrolet Bolt. It said the Bolt will have a range of around 320 kilometres and will cost around 30,000 dollars, including subsidies.
Find a report by press agency dpa on the topic here.
Read the new CLEW dossier on the Energiewende in transport here.
“That was only the beginning”
Germany has made good headway with its Energiewende, but that's just the beginning, writes Werner Eckert in a commentary for public broadcaster SWR. “The real transition still lies ahead,” according to Eckert. “The task ahead is often underestimated. An Energiewende is more than a power transition. We haven’t even started in earnest with heat and mobility.” He says both sectors will have to be electrified, increasing the need for clean electricity, and also efficiency. He says the government had pushed the brakes on renewable development too early. “Yes, the Energiewende came off with a good start. But we can only say ‘We did it’ once we’re independent of coal, oil, and gas.”
Read the commentary in German here.
“TenneT collaborates with SMA for better solar power feed-in predictions”
Grid operator TenneT and solar inverter producer SMA have agreed to cooperate in order to improve forecasts for the output of pv arrays. TenneT will use data provided by SMA inverters to improve the integration of a rising share of solar power into the grid, according to a press release. “The cooperation is an important milestone in the digitalisatoin of the energy market,” according to TenneT.
A solar inverter converts the variable direct current (DC) output of a PV system into an AC current that can be fed into the grid.
Read the press release in English here.