29 Jul 2016
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Major global CO2-emitters face allegations / Successful citizens' energy


German utility RWE, coal mining corporation RAG AG and HeidelbergCement are among 47 major global CO2-emitters the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) accuses of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self determination”, writes John Vidal in the Guardian. The CHR, a constitutional body with the power to investigate human rights violations, has given the companies 45 days to respond to the complaint, and is expected to introduce an official investigation, writes Vidal.

Read the article in English here.

National Observer

The German town Saerbeck’s citizens’ energy project ‘Climate Community’ shows that local, small-scale ownership could be the key to a successful energy transition, writes Audrea Lim for National Observer. With a large community described as PIMBYs (“Please, in my backyard”), “Saerbeck remains both a model example of a municipality that has taken ownership of its energy needs, and a grassroots “climate community” driven by investment and participation from local residents,” writes Lim. However, with upcoming regulatory changes like the switch to auctions for renewables, cooperatives will have difficulty competing against big investors with more readily available capital. Lim also writes of the risk that citizens’ energy projects remain in the hands of the “middle-aged, well-educated and comfortably well-off” population, excluding members of poor and marginalised backgrounds.

Read the article in English here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on Citizens’ participation in the Energiewende and the dossier on the People's Energiewende.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The financial consequences of the German nuclear exit are “dramatic” for German utility EnBW, writes Bernd Freytag in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Because of the low-interest phase, EnBW must set aside additional reserves for company pensions and the nuclear clean-up. Debts increase and the capital cushion grows thinner,” writes Freytag.

Read a CLEW dossier on Utilities and the energy transition.

GTM Research / Greentech Media

Germany’s energy storage market will see significant growth between 2015 and 2021 to reach an annual value of 1.03 billion US dollars (about 0.93 billion euros), according to a new study by GTM Research. This is to be triggered in part by Germany’s residential energy storage market. “A number of variables, including declining feed-in tariffs, high electricity prices, and the KfW 275 program, are fuelling substantial interest in residential energy storage for self-consumption,” says Brett Simon, GTM Research energy storage analyst and author of the report. At the end of 2015, Germany had 67 megawatts of energy storage - with a value of 169 million US dollars -installed, writes Mike Munsell in an article for the research division’s parent company Greentech Media.

You can read the article in English here and buy the full report in English here.

Read more about energy storage in the CLEW dossier New technologies for the Energiewende.


German administrative districts (Landkreise) want to be more independent of energy imports, writes Angela Schmid in WirtschaftsWoche. The rise of renewables had brought new possibilities to many regions. “In plain language this means: Instead of transferring money for natural gas, coal and uranium abroad, regional value creation and jobs develop,” writes Schmid. In the district Rhine-Hunsrück, for instance, 250 million euros for energy imports could be regionally bound between now and 2050, according to the German Association of District Councils.

Read the article in German here.


The copper industry is profiting from the Energiewende and the rise of renewables, reports German broadcaster MDR. The metal is an ideal electric conductor and used heavily in wind turbines. “Whether it’s solar cells, electric cars or power lines, nothing goes without copper. That gives the sector a boost,” writes MDR.

Read the article in English here.

Dutch-German transmission grid operator TenneT has posted a consolidated EBIT of 417 million euros (324 million in Germany) in the first six months of 2016 and invested 875 million euros in the grid infrastructure (642 million in Germany). The EBIT decreased by 76 million euros compared to the same period last year; investments were down by 321 million euros. TenneT said its grid availability was at 99.9 percent. In Germany TenneT is responsible for building two direct-current grid connections which, since legal changes came into force at the beginning of the year, will now have to be built underground, requiring new planning and more expensive technology, the company said. TenneT has also started preparations for building the sea cable connection NordLink between Germany and Norway.

Read the half-year report in English here.

For more information read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.

Statistisches Bundesamt Destatis

Facilities generating electricity from sewage gas have produced 1,395 gigawatt-hours of power in Germany in 2015, the federal statistics office Destatis reports. This was 3.6 percent more than in 2014, and enough to supply a large city like Frankfurt am Main for a year, Destatis said. Sewage gas made up 1 percent of the total renewable power produced in Germany in 2015.

Read the press release in German here.

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