Greens could compromise on coal exit / Job loss at Siemens Gamesa
Stuttgarter Zeitung / Rheinische Post
The German Greens have signalled their readiness to make concessions on core policy demands in the field of climate protection for the sake of advancing the stagnant coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the pro-business FDP, media reports suggest. The Greens’ co-leader, Cem Özdemir, told the Stuttgarter Zeitung that his party was ready to relinquish its key transport policy demand of banning the fresh registration of cars with fossil combustion engines after 2030. “I’m aware that we cannot enforce a 2030 end date for licensing fossil combustion engines all by ourselves”, Özdemir said.
His fellow party co-leader, Simone Peter, said that the Greens’ core climate policy demand of ending coal-fired power production by 2030 was likewise not irrevocable. “For us, it’s not about whether the last coal plants goes off the grid in 2030 or in 2032”, she told the Rheinische Post. The party leaders’ statements are seen as part of a give-and-take approach towards the Greens’ ‘Jamaica coalition’ negotiating partners, who say that these policies would put Germany’s energy supply security and economic competitiveness in jeopardy.
For background on the talks check out CLEW’s Coalition watch and the articles German coalition talks stuck over climate, energy policy and Combustion engine ban splitting point in coalition talks on transport.
Please note: Clean Energy Wire will publish an article on this later today.
In October 2017, renewable energy sources contributed more to Germany’s power mix than ever before over the period of one month, Spiegel Online reports. Solar, wind, hydro, and bioenergy plants produced 44.1 percent of the country’s electricity in October, which due to several autumn storms saw an exceptionally strong output of wind power installations, the article says. Green energy sources produced a total of 20.7 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in October, “enough to cover the energy demand of 5.9 million average two-person households over one year”. Wind and solar alone accounted for 14.6 billion kWh, it adds. Since January, renewables on average contributed over 38 percent to Germany’s power mix.
Read the article in German here.
National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech)
Several research institutes and environmental NGOs, among them the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Wuppertal Institute, WWF Germany, and Germanwatch, have signed a petition asking the next German government to reconsider the use of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCU, CCS). The government should test and discuss these technologies to enable it to use them in time if they are needed for Germany to meet its 2050 decarbonisation target, the group writes in a press release. Erika Bellmann, policy advisor climate & energy at WWF Germany, said that CCS could not be used to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but would be an option for removing smaller amounts of CO2 from industrial processes.
Read the press release in German here.
See a CLEW factsheet on technologies for the Energiewende here.
Germany, host of this year’s UN climate summit, is a bad example when it comes to climate action, writes Petra Pinzler in an opinion piece on Zeit Online. The country of “Climate Chancellor” Angela Merkel is not adhering to its promised CO2 reductions, and remains the largest user of CO2-intensive lignite. The government has succumbed repeatedly to lobbying by car manufacturers and farmers, and as a result these sectors have not reduced emissions. According to Pinzler, the climate summit could help Germany learn from other countries like Norway, Denmark, or the UK how to implement climate-friendly transportation.
Read the op-ed in German here.
Germany is constantly worried that it might lose its image of climate protection pioneer, which appears to be a legitimate fear due to its stalling performance in CO2 emissions reduction and sluggish renewable energy expansion, Axel Bojanowski writes in an op-ed on Spiegel Online. But these worries are only partially founded as the country continues to be a driving force behind international climate protection efforts, and a “dominant” negotiating partner at the UN Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, he argues. “No country has better connections, no one enjoys greater confidence”, all backed by “a solid billion-dollar budget” for climate diplomats to push the agenda, Bojanowski says. Germany may invest a lot of taxpayers’ money abroad to mitigate climate change consequences, but this money “also paves the way for German companies and for pursuing strategic policy interests”, he writes. However, the climate “success story” also has a flipside: critics of Germany’s climate policy and its Energiewende within the administration were often silenced.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
German utility company Uniper swung back to profit, posting a net income of 782 million euros in the first nine months of 2017, after a loss of 4.2 billion euros due to "substantial impariment charges" in the same period last year, the company said on 7 November. Uniper said this stable performance let them look ahead to full-year 2017 with confidence. Meanwhile Finish utility Fortum's takeover bid for Uniper is moving into the next phase. Fortum has announced its public takeover offer to the shareholders of Uniper. Uniper's Management Board and Supervisory Board will carefully examine the offer, and comment on it within the next two weeks, said CEO Klaus Schäfer. Until then, the management has advised shareholders to refrain from accepting the takeover offer, he added.
See Uniper’s third quarter results and read the CEO’s statement in English here.
Siemens Gamesa / WirtschaftsWoche
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA has seen its revenues increase by five percent to nearly 11 billion euros in fiscal 2017. But between April and September its revenues fell by 12 percent due to the temporary suspension of the Indian market, the company said. However, order intake in the fourth quarter increased by 40 percent, the company said. As part of its restructuring plan following the merger, 6,000 employees would be let go, Siemens Gamesa announced. The German economy weekly WirtschaftsWoche reported that Germany would be among the six countries hit the most by these cuts.
Utility Vattenfall will invest 100 million euros in a new 120 megawatt power-to-heat plant in Berlin, the company said in a press release. The new unit will replace a hard-coal fired one, and will work like a giant kettle: electricity will be used to heat water, which will then be fed into the city’s heating network, supplying heat to 30,000 households. Construction work started in the second week of November.
Read the press release in German here.