23 Oct 2014

Germany’s energy transition in the media on 23 Oct 2014

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Energy policy: backwards roll”

It is not just Germany undertaking an energy transition, writes Cerstin Gammelin in an opinion piece for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, other European countries are also transforming their energy supply – but not in the way Germans understand an “Energiewende”. Instead, they are investing in nuclear power (Great Britain) or even in more coal (Poland), a “classic backwards roll” and the opposite of a common European energy policy, she says.



“The Climate is poisoned”

German industry is wary of the new EU climate targets. The technology sector believes that CO2 reduction targets will not be ambitious enough while energy-intensive industries fear for their competitiveness if energy prices rise, reports Thomas Ludwig and Klaus Stratmann after speaking to the managing director of the association for chemical industries (VCI) Utz Tillmann and other industry representatives. With an economic downturn looming, the metals sector also warns against high electricity prices that might endanger jobs in Germany. Only a worldwide 40 per cent CO2 reduction target would be acceptable, Tillmann added.


Rheinische Post

“Chancellor under pressure”

Angela Merkel once again has the unpleasant job of negotiating a deal between the 28 EU member states so that Europe finalises greenhouse gas reduction targets, writes Birgit Marschall. If Merkel, once dubbed the “climate chancellor”, succeeds, the European Union could show that it is committed to ambitious climate targets and expects the rest of the world to follow suit. But with eastern European countries, the UK and industry representatives wanting a different outcome, Merkel will have to summon all her negotiating skills to reach a deal.

See the article in German here.


Financial Times

“Clean energy proves a costly exercise for Germany”

Jeevan Vasagar in the Financial Times reports that while Germany’s energy transition has led to jobs and investment in the renewables sector, companies that “once made vast profits from generating electricity” have seen earnings squeezed, while German manufacturers complain about the cost of subsidizing renewables. The article quotes Thomas Vahlenkamp at McKinsey in Germany saying that reforms to the country’s energy legislation will not lead to a significant reduction in energy costs.

See the article here.


The Ecologist

Germany's green power surges ahead – at a price that's finally falling”

Writing in the Ecologist, Gert Brunekreeft says the most significant development of the Germany energy transition is the growth of green power, which has surpassed expectations with renewables well on the way to becoming the country’s primary energy source. Meanwhile, traditional power suppliers like RWE and E.ON are “suffering badly” and “having to rethink their business models completely”. Brunekreeft says the transition is costing households the equivalent of 218 euros a year on top of their normal electricity bill, which has become a “political problem”, but that reform of the energy package “seems to be working” with the surcharge falling slightly next year.

See the article here.


The Energy Collective

“Germany's Energiewende Proves Electricity can be Clean and Reliable”

The Energy Collective reports that Germany has not only increased the share of renewables in the energy mix to around double that of the US, but also improved the reliability of the grid. The article’s author, Peter Sopher, says much criticism that the county has invested too much in green energy is “blown out of proportion… and/or based on no empirical data” and that such concerns, where valid, have solutions within reach. For example, a shift away from “energy-only” to capacity markets would contribute both to the stability of the grid and favour energy sources that emit lower amounts of CO2.

See the article here.

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