Gas might replace nuclear plant / Next Kraftwerke finds investor
German utility RWE may build a gas power plant to replace power generation currently provided by nuclear power station Gundremmingen in Bavaria, writes Michael Gassmann in Welt. One of the two remaining reactors at Gundremmingen is scheduled for shutdown this December. The new plant could be constructed close to the site of the nuclear facility and could help stabilise the grid when the nuclear reactor is taken off at the end of the year, according to Gassmann. Both remaining nuclear reactors covered about one fourth of Bavaria’s power needs in 2015, writes Gassmann.
Read the article in German here.
For background read the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out and the CLEW factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Affordable climate protection is the most important task for the energy industry - and gas-fired power generation could be key, says Timm Kehler, director of natural gas industry group Zukunft Erdgas, writes Volker Budinger in an article part of a natural gas special in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We anticipate that CO₂ abatement costs will become an important parameter when looking at technology costs,” says Kehler.
Clean Energy Wire / Next Kraftwerke
Virtual power plant specialist Next Kraftwerke, one of Germany’s best known energy start-ups, has sold a minority stake of 34 percent to Dutch renewable utility Eneco. The deal would boost its expansion in Europe, and “contribute to the joint ambition of Eneco Group and Next Kraftwerke to accelerate the energy transition by means of technology, enabling more renewable and decentralized energy”, the company said in a press release.
Next Kraftwerke founder and CEO Jochen Schwill told the Clean Energy Wire “a certain size is necessary” for the next step in his company’s development. He said Next Kraftwerke chose the Dutch company as an investor over German utilities because Eneco’s orientation was a better fit, allowed his company to remain largely independent, and was a better stepping stone for European expansion.
Next Kraftwerke was founded in 2009 and calls itself “a power plant operator without any power plants.” It uses its network of more than 4,000 renewable installations with a total capacity exceeding 2.8 gigawatts to trade power and balance the grid.
Read the press release in English here.
The German energy sector is slowly embracing digitalisation with its push towards decentralisation, writes Ulrich Schäfer in a column in Süddeutsche Zeitung. It is starting to depart from “the centralistic, military precision” thinking and management. TenneT and Sonnen’s planned network of decentralised storage systems and E.ON’s partnership with Google showed that the industry – “as one of the last economic sectors” – slowly became more digital, writes Schäfer.
Read the column piece in German here.
For background read the CLEW article Pilot project taps batteries & blockchain to iron out renewable power.
In the aftermath of Dieselgate, Germany should not make the same mistake with regard to the energy transition by phasing out a technology without having enough alternatives, writes Nikolaus Doll in an opinion piece for Welt Online. This would be counterproductive and lead to more emissions, Doll writes. Pushing diesel motors out of the market would increase sales of CO₂-intensive petrol engines. “With the Energiewende, we drove the German energy companies into a wall. With diesel-bashing and driving bans, we might send the auto industry down the same path,” writes Doll.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
The UK Conservative Party’s proposal to put a price cap on standard energy tariffs could “really ruin things” for the business of German energy company E.ON in the UK and “not end up benefiting consumers”, according to the company’s chief financial officer Marc Spieker, writes Jillian Ambrose in The Telegraph.
Read the article in English here.
RWE’s CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz plans to reorganise the company’s senior management, writes Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt, citing company sources. Subsidiaries RWE Power – responsible for lignite and nuclear power – and RWE Generation, which deals with gas, hard coal and hydro power generation will get separate executives. The move creates more flexibility for the company, writes Flauger. RWE Power could better concentrate on lignite mining in the Rhenish region, while it would be easier for RWE Generation to take part in consolidating conventional power generation in Europe, and even take over competitors.