German coalition talks break down / Storms cause renewables record

Clean Energy Wire

German coalition talks collapse despite progress on climate and energy

After almost five weeks of deliberations, the pro-business Free Democratic Party has pulled the plug on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a coalition government made up of her conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the Greens and the FDP. Migration was ultimately the most contentious issue, with politicians insisting disagreements over energy and climate policy were not the ultimate reason for the collapse. The Greens and CSU accused the FDP of playing tactical games. SPD head Martin Schulz reiterated that his party would not enter another grand coalition – making a minority government or new elections plausible options.

Read the full CLEW article here.

See the CLEW factsheet First reactions to collapse of German coalition talks for more information.

 

Clean Energy Wire

Energy and climate policy not cause for German coalition talk end - politicians

Disagreements over energy and climate policy were not the ultimate reasons for the collapse of coalition talks to form a new government, representatives of three of the parties involved said at the annual congress of the German Energy Agency (dena) in Berlin. “We have discussed a lot, energy and climate have been problematic,” said Green member of parliament (MP) Oliver Krischer, who had been part of the party’s negotiation team. “But we had reached a point where there was a lot of movement.” Christian Democratic (CDU) MP Joachim Pfeiffer said that he had the impression that questions around individual issues had not been at the core of the pro-business FDP’s decision to pull out. “It was about psychology and also about a lack of will to reach an agreement.” Free Democrat (FDP) Henner Schmidt, who is a member of the regional parliament of the federal state of Berlin, agreed: “It did not fail because of that (energy and climate policy).” The general atmosphere and the overall setting seemed to have been more of an issue, said Schmidt, who was not part of the FDP’s negotiation team. 

Read the full CLEW article German coalition talks collapse as pro-business FDP pulls plug and the CLEW factsheet First reactions to collapse of German coalition talks for more information.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Germany generates record volume of renewable power – E.ON

Two powerful autumn storms pushed German renewable electricity production to a record high this year, according to calculations by utility E.ON. E.ON manager Robert Hienz told news agency dpa that from January to mid-November, solar, wind and hydro power facilities generated 131 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, more than in the whole of 2016. Annual renewable production in 2016 was 129 billion kWh, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany's energy consumption and power mix in charts for more information.

 

Hamburger Abendblatt

“The climate deal shows that it is working”

Germany’s role as a host of this year’s UN climate conference “left a question mark for many diplomats” at the COP23 in Bonn, Jürgen Polzin writes in an op-ed for the Hamburger Abendblatt. That Germany is still ruled by a provisional government and Chancellor Angela Merkel remains vague on the future of coal are irritating factors, Polzin says. But the good news is that UN members are confronting the “harsh reality of climate negotiations” following success in Paris 2015. “Germany’s example shows just how much of a challenge the energy transition is,” he writes. Yet the many companies presenting climate-friendly solutions at COP23 showed “climate protection does not only mean abstinence” but also offers numerous business opportunities, he adds.

Read the commentary in German here.

See the CLEW dossier COP23 - All eyes on Germany for background.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Power prices in Germany often higher than necessary

Many electricity suppliers in Germany will not lower their prices in 2018, even though falling wholesale power prices and grid fees mean they have leeway to do so, Thomas Öchsner reports for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Germany’s average 2017 power price was higher than ever before, at 28.18 euro cents per kilowatt, Öchsner writes, even though wholesale prices were down 3 percent. Mathias Köster-Niechziol of price comparison website Verivox told the newspaper most of Germany’s 800 suppliers would leave prices unchanged in the new year. Power suppliers “are ready to use any argument in favour of higher prices,” Udo Sieverding of the North Rhine-Westphalia Customer Protection Union said.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power for background.

 

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