Grid operators in cost dispute / Audi gripped by Dieselgate
German transmission grid operators (TSO) are in a dispute about the distribution of costs for re-dispatch measures to stabilise the German power grid, writes Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt. TenneT and 50Hertz, who manage Germany’s windy north, carry out most measures and shoulder the bulk of the costs, call for uniform grid fees for the whole of Germany. They say this will “fairly distribute the costs of the Energiewende”, according to a TenneT position paper, seen by Handelsblatt. So far, electricity customers in their control area pay substantially higher fees than those in southern Germany. Amprion and TransnetBW, the other two TSOs, reject the proposal. They claim, among other things, that the energy intensive industry customers in their control area would suffer from higher costs. The federal economy ministry told Handelsblatt that there are plans to amend the Energy Industry Act and introduce “a legal basis for the introduction of nationwide uniform transmission grid fees” this autumn.
Find background information in the CLEW factsheet Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid.
The dispute between Germany’s transmission grid operators highlights the “partly absurd distortions” the expansion of renewable energies has brought about, writes Jürgen Flauger in an opinion piece in Handelsblatt. “The primary goal to quickly increase the share of green power was reached impressively. The conversion of the entire energy supply in Germany, especially the adaptation of the power grid, could not keep up with this speed,” writes Flauger.
The VW Group subsidiary Audi apparently used software manipulation to stay below US emissions limits in its diesel engines for years, even though it has been denying this charge, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. An engineer wrote an email to managers as early as 2007 saying the carmaker wouldn’t manage to stick to official limits “entirely without cheating”, according to an investigation by the newspaper and public broadcasters NDR and WDR. Thomas Fromm and Klaus Ott write that the software was used in diesel engines with a displacement of three litres. They say Audi is by now considered the “mother of the deceit” within the VW Group. Audi told the journalists it could not comment because of ongoing investigations in the US.
Read the report in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.
The German parliament's finance committee has decided to extend motor vehicle tax exemptions for e-cars for five years in order to push sales of the technology, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. The committee also agreed that e-car drivers can charge their vehicles at the workplace without being taxed on it. The parliament will vote on the measures today. The government introduced a buyer’s premium for e-cars in the spring, but sales have remained sluggish.
Utility Vattenfall wants to sell its Hamburg coal power plant Moorburg, according to a report by daily tageszeitung. Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall did not rule out a sale within five years, as the company did not need Moorburg in the long term. A Vattenfall Germany spokesperson said there were no concrete plans for a sale yet, but added that the plant did not fit to the company’s philosophy in the long term, as it wanted to become climate neutral by 2050.
Find the report in German here.
Find a Reuters report on the subject in English here.
For background, read the CLEW article Moorburg power plant – Last of a dying breed, or the future of coal in Germany?
In a series of stakeholder dialogues, environmental NGO Germanwatch and the Global Climate Forum have investigated where important Energiewende players see obstacles and opportunities. A close cooperation between core business areas such as institutional investors, utilities, telecommunication companies, and transmission grid operators could be a decisive boost for the energy transition, according to the paper.
Find the paper in German here.
German Internet services company United Internet will become an electricity provider, writes Varinia Bernau in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The company will not operate its own power plants, but buy electricity on the market to sell and distribute to its customers.
Read the article in German here.
The boom years for wind power in Germany are over, but the market will stay stable over the coming years, according to Commerzbank. While globally the growth will largely shift to the Asian market, Germany’s market growth - which was at around 9 percent in the past ten years - will decrease to about 5 percent in the coming decade, says Commerzbank in a press release.
Read the press release in German here.