German wind power jobs move abroad / Franco-German climate cooperation
As wind power generation starts to take off internationally, companies from the former global lead market Germany are set to close down parts of production at home and move jobs closer to growth markets, Brian Parkin and William Wilkes write for Bloomberg. Jobs are threatened in Germany because of “surging orders abroad, but a domestic market in decline as subsidies make way for competitive auctions that crimp new supply," the authors say. Wind power lobby groups such as the BEE or the BWE now say the government is to blame for the job losses as it cut domestic expansion volumes in wind power auctions this year.
Read the article in English here.
See the CLEW dossier Onshore wind power in Germany for more information.
A new study by WWF Germany and Foundation 2° examines the effects of a “below two degrees climate path” on economic risks and opportunities for companies in the automobile and chemical industries. Businesses must include climate and energy targets in their strategic orientation to avoid losses and make use of the opportunities of the transformation to a low carbon economy, the organisations say in a press release. “Unfortunately, we currently do not see companies adequately taking into account such framework conditions,” said Matthias Kopp, head of sustainable finance at WWF.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition's effects on the economy.
A price on CO₂ in Germany would bring a push in innovation from which German companies could profit in international competition, Ottmar Edenhofer, designated director of The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), told Spiegel in an interview. “However, I admit that we are still far from introducing a price anytime soon.” A CO₂ price would make the use of fossil fuels less profitable and thereby speed up the industrial transition, and create new revenues for the government, which could be used to finance climate change adaptation, said Edenhofer. “You have to make clear that many things become more expensive without a price on CO₂, because climate change leads to more crop failures, […] extreme weather increases the price of insurances, destroyed infrastructure leads to higher taxes. We can decide if we want to pay for the damages, or for preventing them.”
Find the interview in German (behind paywall) here.
For background, read the CLEW article Energy minister rejects idea of changing fees and taxes on energy.
Reuters / RWE
German energy company RWE has secured a “substantial annual capacity” of a planned German terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), reports news agency Reuters. RWE reached an agreement with LNG Terminal GmbH, the joint venture that aims to build Germany’s first LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel, in Northern Germany. “LNG will play an important role in the North-West European gas market and therefore we are very pleased to take this step forward towards an LNG terminal in Germany,” Andree Stracke, Chief Commercial Officer Gas Supply & Origination of RWE Supply & Trading, said in a press release. LNG Terminal’s final investment decision is envisaged for late 2019. Should all relevant permits be obtained and there is sufficient interest in the market, construction work could start in 2020 with the terminal being fully operational by the end of 2022, says the press release.
Find background in the CLEW factsheet Gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 links Germany to Russia, but splits Europe and the dossier The role of gas in Germany's energy transition.
Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU)
Representatives from different ministries of the French and German governments met in Paris for the first meeting of the inter-ministerial High Level Working Group on climate change, the so-called “Meseberg Climate Working Group”, the environment ministry said in a press release. The group was decided in June 2018, after French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had vowed closer cooperation on climate and energy policy.
Prix du carbone
La France et l'Allemagne vont élaborer des politiques de tarification pour tous les secteurs en vue du prochain conseil des ministres franco-allemand prévu début 2019. pic.twitter.com/cyZkdHaXpA
— Brune Poirson (@brunepoirson) September 6, 2018
The working group looks at how each economic sector can make its contribution to reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and how certain instruments - such as the EU budget, or “options for a price on CO₂” - can be used in the most efficient and intelligent way.
Find the press release in German here.
Read the article Merkel pledges stronger climate action globally and at home for background.
Many investors increasingly doubt that further investments in fossil power plants make sense and ask for ever more detailed justifications, for example regarding the modernisation of old facilities, writes WirtschaftsWoche in a long article. This could lead to financing problems for coal companies such as utility RWE, the German business weekly writes. The uncertainty regarding the future of coal in Germany burdens the German energy giant, said US rating agency Moody’s according to the article.
Find the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition's effects on the economy and the Commission watch – Managing Germany’s coal phase-out.
A group of seven countries – comprising France, Poland, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Ireland and the UK – have issued a common position on the reform of Europe’s electricity market, saying “strategic reserves” for electricity should not receive favourable treatment from regulators, reports EurActiv. “The statement is a clear reference to Germany, which closed eight lignite power plants in 2015 and transferred them into a “strategic reserve” that can be used as back-up in case of emergency,” writes EurActiv.
Find the article in English here.
Find background in the CLEW news piece Despite February ruling, EU could again question funding for Germany’s security standby of lignite plants and the factsheet Germany's new power market design.