13 Oct 2014, 00:00
Peter Dinkloh

Germany's energy transition in the media on 13 October

Der Spiegel

“Energy transition: Gabriel to put more pressure on utilities”

German Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel plans to put more pressure on utilities by taking 10 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants offline, weekly magazine Der Spiegel reported, without saying where it obtained the information. He plans to ditch coal as a fuel for power plants completely in the medium term, the magazine said.
According to news agency Reuters the government dismissed the report, saying it was not possible to exit nuclear power and coal-fired power generation at the same time.
Germany is in danger of missing its target to cut greenhouse-gas emission by 40 percent by 2020 over 1990 levels, due to an increased amount of coal-fired power generation.

See the Spiegel article in German here.

See the Reuters Article in English here.


Der Spiegel

“Power might get cheaper”

The government will lower the renewable energy surcharge to 6.17 cents per kilowatt hour in 2015 from 6.24 cents, Der Spiegel reported, without saying where it obtained the information. The surcharge is a top-up for consumers on the price of power that helps fund Germany’s transition to clean energy.
The surcharge for 2015, which is calculated on the basis of income from this year’s surcharge, will be announced on Wednesday and is expected to drop, according to several media reports.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“The secure supply of power is in danger”

The secure supply of electricity in Germany is in danger due to a lack of power grids for distributing power from renewable energy sources, the head of transmission-grid operator TenneT said in an interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung. The lack of powerlines means there are more power stations than needed, as it is not possible to transport power from certain stations to customers requiring additional capacity, TenneT chief Lex Hartmann told the German paper.
Grid operators argue that Germany needs to quickly build more power lines, in particular from the windy North Sea coast to industrial hubs in the south. Some local initiatives and politicians are opposed to these lines, claiming they are environmentally harmful and destroy the landscape.


Bild am Sonntag

Econ Minister and Bavarian premier agree plan to resolve differences on energy transition

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer have agreed to put forth ideas by year-end aimed at resolving differences over the energy transition, weekly tabloid Bild am Sonntag reported, citing the two politicians. Seehofer is under pressure from communities near planned power lines that will carry renewable energy from the North Sea to Bavaria in the south. He wants a countrywide discussion about the subject in the next months, the paper reported.



“Costs of nuclear exit to be examined”

Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, wants the government to examine costs for exiting nuclear power and to ensure that the 35.8 billion euros utilities have put aside for dismantling nuclear power stations would also cover possible insolvencies, German news agency dpa reported. German broadcaster WDR had a similar report.
German utilities are under pressure due to falling power prices, which are dropping in part due to cheap renewable energy, with RWE reporting the first annual loss in 60 years in March.
According to daily Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia opposed the probe, hoping to avoid additional financial burdens for utilities RWE and E.ON, which are headquartered in the state.

See the articles in German here and here


Der Spiegel

Power-suppliers seek a new business model

Frank Dohmen and Gerald Traufetter describe how German utilities must come up with new business models, as the growing renewable energy industry cuts into their profits. Most utilities are minor players in that industry.


Business Day

“Supply shake-up hits big energy utilities”

Carol Paton describes how large utilities, which for a long time dominated Germany’s energy market, are losing out from the energy transition.

See the article here.

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