Government seen missing energy policy targets / A new gas pipeline?
“Energiewende Index Germany 2020 – Tour de Force nuclear exit”
According to consultancy McKinsey, the government risks missing most of its 2020 energy transition targets. “A majority of indicators are pointing downwards for the first time since the start of the bi-annual Energiewende-Index survey four years ago,” says a press release. In particular, indicators for costs and emission trends have worsened since the last survey in September 2015, according to the consultancy. McKinsey director Thomas Vahlenkamp, who developed the index, pointed to rising costs for the stabilisation of the power grid and said CO2 emissions were a long way off their 2020 target levels. On the other hand, the survey cites offshore wind development, power supply security, and jobs as examples where targets are on track.
To evaluate the status of the energy transition, McKinsey investigates whether energy supply is environmentally friendly, secure, and affordable – the main targets of government policy. The consultancy has chosen five indicators to judge success in each of these three categories.
“Germany Starts Work on Auction Rules Designed to Curb Solar Boom”
The German government is seeking to introduce new legislation designed to control the growth of renewables by the middle of this year, Bloomberg reports. Under the new system, guaranteed feed-in tariffs for renewable power installations will be replaced by auctions for the right to sell renewable power. But “the bill faces a rocky road in the lower chamber, where lawmakers are concerned the measures will go too far to squelch growth,” the article says.
See the article in English here.
“Time to switch to the market”
The reforms introducing auctions for renewable capacity will turn German green power policy on its head, writes Daniel Wetzel for Die Welt. The old system resulted in massive overfunding of individual green power producers. However, the growth corridors set for renewable power under the new system are incompatible with the country’s target of 40 to 45 percent of electricity to be generated from renewables by 2025, Wetzel says, resulting in uncertainty for wind power sector in particular.
See the article in German here.
“Green revolution falters”
A new report by Fraunhofer ISI for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research reveals that investment in innovation by manufacturers in the renewable energy sector fell 44 percent between 2013 and 2015, the Handelsblatt reports. In 2015, manufacturers of solar cells, rotor blades and wind turbines spent an average of 1.7 million euros on research into future technology, down from 3 million three years ago. More than two thirds of companies surveyed for the study blamed uncertainty over government policy for the lack of investment.
Read a CLEW dossier on Energiewende technologies here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Construction of Nord Stream 2 unnecessary”
The controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline to bring gas from Russia is unnecessary, according to a report from Agora Energiewende, WWF and others, the FAZ reports. The same assessment applies to other planned pipelines for the same purpose, such as the Southern Corridor. The study found that existing pipelines were sufficient, and said the key to energy security was the development of renewable energy sources and increased energy efficiency.
See CLEW’s dossier on the Energiewende and security here.
Find the study in English here.
“Keep Gas in Our Energy Mix”
Writing in Handelsblatt, North-Rhine Westphalia’s economics minister Garrelt Duin argues that the Nord Stream pipeline is important, as natural gas must play a role in the energy mix. Duin argues that as nuclear power plants are taken offline the current overcapacity may become under capacity, and gas – as well as brown coal – should contribute to keeping Germany independent from imported power.
See the article in English here (behind a paywall).
“Germany's Electric Cars Need a Jolt”
Germany is falling “woefully short” of its target of one million electric cars on its road by 2020, writes Chris Bryant in a column for Bloomberg Gadfly. As a result, the government is considering a 5,000-euro incentive for buyers, but Bryant says the money “could be better spent.” German carmakers have fallen behind in the e-mobility market, and the country is “worryingly complacent about battery cell development.” Bryant argues that the incentive offered makes little impact on the price of an electric car.
See the article in English here.
See CLEW’s dossier on the energy transition in transport here.
Economy and Energy Ministry
“Research factory for energy efficient production opens”
The BMWi has announced the opening of a “model factory” at the Technical University of Darmstadt to research energy saving potential in manufacturing processes.
See the project website in English here.