Gas power stations rise from the dead / A transparent solar cell

manager magazine / Bloomberg

“Gas-fired power stations rise from the dead”

What might be the biggest absurdity of the German Energiewende could now be ending, as relatively clean gas-fired power plants are regaining competitiveness, write Arvid Kaiser and Nils-Viktor Sorge in manager magazin. According to a Bloomberg analysis, a recent drop in the price of natural gas has meant it is starting to replace coal as fuel in power generation. “More gas plants are in the money at current power and gas prices,” Omar Ramdani, head of analysis at RheinEnergie Trading GmbH in Cologne, told Bloomberg. “If it pays off for a gas plant to produce several hours and not a whole day, it is looking positive right now.”
Gas only produces half the emissions of coal in power generation, making it an ideal back-up for intermittent wind and solar electricity. But until recently, cheaper coal has forced utilities like E.ON to mothball gas plants.

Read the article in manager magazine in German here.

Find Bloomberg’s article in English here.

Find a CLEW factsheet on the merit order effect here.

 

University of Leipzig

“Physicists from the University of Leipzig develop first transparent solar cell”

Scientists at the University of Leipzig have managed to develop the world’s first transparent solar cell, according to an article on the university’s website. It is made with cheap and easily available materials, absorbs ultra violet light, and could be used on large surfaces such as glass, according to the report. The scientists said it will take years to start industrial production.  

Find the article in German here.

 

Frankfurter Rundschau

“Lignite exit spells trouble”

The debate about a coal exit has split unions, report Thorsten Knuf und Stefan Sauer in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Mining union IG BCE is outraged about last week’s demand by union umbrella association DGB for a commission to work out a socially sustainable reduction of lignite coal. The paper has learned that IG BCE complained about the proposal to the DGB, which consequently removed a summary of the proposals from its website.  

Find the article in German here.

Read the CLEW article “German energy minister wants round table on future of coal” here.

 

dpa

“Future of lignite: Government promises support for structural change”

Environment minister Barbara Hendricks has promised financial support to lignite mining regions for the pending structural changes, reports press agency dpa. The government would help to ensure alternative employment, for example in the energy sector, Hendricks said during a visit to the East German lignite mining region Lusatia.  She didn’t name a figure but said the storage of renewable energies could provide new jobs, among others.

Find the article in German here.

 

dpa / Die Welt

“No ceiling for wind power development”

The heads of Germany’s northern states have called for a consistent development of onshore and offshore wind energy, dpa reports. When reforming the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the target of 40-45 percent renewables by 2025 should not be used as a ceiling for wind power expansion, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s state premier Erwin Sellering (SPD) said in Wismar. Together with the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and metalworker’s associations, the state premiers call for a 2.5 gigawatt net capacity addition in onshore wind per year that must not depend on the addition of solar PV and offshore wind turbines.

Read the “Wismar Appeal” in German here.

Read the article in German here.

 

Bloomberg

“VW CEO calls for new emissions tests as Europe recall starts”

Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller has called for a reform of European emissions tests to close the gap between laboratory and real-world results, reports Christoph Rauwald for Bloomberg. “The industrywide discrepancies between official test results and actual usage is no longer tolerable,” Müller said, according to a statement from Volkswagen. “We, the industry, need to take a new path.” VW said it wanted to start the recall of 8.5 million cars affected by the manufacturer’s cheating scandal in Europe this week.

Read the article in English here.

 

BMWi

“Mobility 2025: Coexistence or convergence of automotive IT?”

A new study by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) concludes that mobility in 2025 will be clean, safe and deeply interconnected, according to a press release. “Electric and highly automated vehicles will be part of everyday life,” it said. Communication between vehicles, infrastructures and data clouds will ensure accidents and traffic jams become an exception, according to the press release.

Find the press release and the study in German here.

 

reneweconomy.com

“Germany says solar and wind have won technology race”

Germany’s most important tasks in the Energiewende are to focus on integration, “digitising” the power grid, storage, efficiency, and other energy uses such as transport, as well as building and industrial heat, state secretary Rainer Baake told reneweconomy.com in an interview.

Find the interview in English here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Energy policy largest risk for steel companies

The European market will be flooded this year with cheap steel imports from China, putting additional pressure on the struggling sector, writes Helmut Bünder in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He says the most important threat to the sector is energy policy. “The planned tightening of emissions trading would even hit steel mills that limit their CO2 emissions to the lowest technically possible limit,” according to Bünder. In Germany, the companies might also face higher power bills, because they might have to pay the green power surcharge for self-generated electricity. Bünder argues it is crucial for Germany’s economy to hold on to the industry, and that its migration out of Europe would damage efforts to protect the climate.

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