22 Aug 2016
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

A green coal exit plan / Uniper posts loss

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The Green Party has developed a concrete plan for phasing out coal in Germany, writes Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “In the coming legislative term, we aim at introducing the end of the coal era in Germany irreversibly and with planning reliability”, says the party in a paper entitled “Agenda Coal Exit”, seen by Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Greens want to initiate the gradual shutdown of the country’s nearly 150 coal power plants should they become part of the government after next year's federal elections. The ten-point plan for a coal exit inside 20 years includes a ban on new power plants, emission limits set by the German parliament, stakeholder discussions, and a “Coal Exit Commission” to accompany the transition.

Read the article in German here.


E.ON’s spin-off Uniper, slated for a stock market listing soon, has posted its first half-year financial results, reporting a 3.9 billion euro loss. The hit is a result of value adjustments and provisions for impending losses of 3.8 billion euros that E.ON had already posted in its own bi-annual report, Jürgen Flauger writes in Handelsblatt. However, Uniper’s operating results improved – EBITDA was 1.5 billion euros in the first half of 2016, 50 percent more than the  pre-spinoff fossil energy division achieved in the same period last year. The result was put down to favourable changes to the  long term natural gas contracts with Russia and other areas of global trading, while earnings in European and international power generation decreased.

Read the Uniper press release in English here.

Read the Handelsblatt article in German here.

Federal Ministry of Finance

The direct physical effects of climate change “very likely do not constitute a risk” for the stability of European financial markets until 2030, according to preliminary results of an upcoming report by the Federal Ministry of Finance. “How likely transitional risks […] might occur is difficult to assess”, as they depend on changes in national climate policy regulations, writes the ministry in its monthly report for August. As an example, the ministry warns of a “transitional shock” if the federal government were to decide to steer CO2-emission prices towards the true economic costs, instead of the current market price. These real economic costs were not taken into account in the evaluation of relevant financial assets, so many assets “would heavily lose in value”.

Find the finance ministry's monthly report for August in German here.

pv magazine

Out of 650 megawatts of ground-mounted photovoltaic projects tendered since 2015, 100 megawatts have so far been realised, pv magazine writes. After obtaining detailed information on Germany’s pilot PV auctions from the Federal Network Agency (BnetzA), the magazine said 19 out of 122 successful bids had now applied for support. From the first round of auctions held in April 2015, 5 out of 25 successful projects have been completed. Project developers have two years to realise their projects. The BNetzA says no significant results can be drawn from the numbers so far and is expecting a “dash” to complete projects before the time limit ends.

Read the article in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The state of Hesse is offering mediators to communities likely to oppose wind turbines to allow parties to discuss issues in a fact-based and target-oriented manner, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. More than 35 councils have used the mediators since 2014 to intervene when wind-power proponents and opponents reached deadlock, but are now often called in at the beginning of the participation process, Hesse’s Green economy minister Tarek Al-Wazir said at a press conference. The oppositional Liberal Democrats have accused the citizen mediators of themselves pushing for more wind power.

Hamburger Abendblatt

The lack of flexibility in conventional power plants is a “key problem of the Energiewende”, writes Jakob Schlandt in Hamburger Abendblatt. While conventional plants continue to run at times of grid congestion, “whole wind parks are being switched off exactly when they could produce at full speed”, he writes. Some fossil-fuel plants needed to produce a minimum of power for technical or other reasons, but details on when and how far operators reduce production were treated as business secrets.

Read the article in German here.

Read about re-dispatch costs in the German power grid and their effects on power prices in these CLEW factsheets.

Welt am Sonntag

In a long article in Welt am Sonntag, Daniel Wetzel writes about the dangers of wind turbines for birds and the resulting clash between nature and climate protection advocates. A wind power project in the south of Germany could set a legal precedence: German utility EnBW requests the permission to set up two large turbines in an area frequented by breeding pairs of the protected red kite species. EnBW argues that the public interest was more important than the protection of the birds, writes Wetzel.

Read the article in German here.


The whole of the transport sector must switch to renewable energy by 2035 at the latest to reach the Paris Climate Agreement 1.5C target, Greenpeace’s transport expert Daniel Moser told news agency dpa. Moser also warns that Germany would “lose its position as innovation leader in mobility, environment and climate protection” if the country “overslept the phase out of the combustion engine”.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read CLEW's dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

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