In the media: Battery fever; "trouble near the mine"
“Simply carry on”
G7 politicians want to rid the world of fossil fuels but German industry will demand support for the decarbonisation, Karl-Heinz Büschemann writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said the G7 decision has changed the orientation of research and innovation for generations, Büschemann writes. But Kaeser won't admit that Siemens made a mistake when it recently withdrew from the solar power business, says Büschemann. Another source at the German industry association BDI told the author that he didn’t believe the G7 agreement would have any affect on the likes of Russia and the US, who will not forego using their fossil fuel resources. “There will be no global Energiewende,” Büschemann quotes. Meanwhile, even utility RWE and the German car industry officially applaud the decarbonisation target, writes Büschemann – though the latter does little to further this cause.
“The business of power suppliers is in great danger”
Despite reduced state support, solar power will see rapid growth in Europe, Torsten Henzelmann, partner at consultancy Roland Berger told the Manager Magazin in an interview. As the technology becomes cheaper, its share in the power market will quadruple over next 15 years, to at least 12 percent in Europe, Henzelmann said. This trend will make life difficult for traditional energy suppliers since their profitable relationships with small and medium sized businesses are in danger.
Read the interview in German here.
“Trouble near the mine”
The IG BCE’s (trade union for energy, mining and chemical industry) latest campaign “coincidentally” comes in the midst of the fierce debate over the future of coal in Germany, writes Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The trade union asks “Will the Energiewende be a success,” and answers “Yes, if… power remains affordable for everyone” and “…no good jobs are lost”. The fight over a coal levy to limit emissions from old lignite plants has been going on for three months, writes Bauchmüller.
Die Tageszeitung – taz
“Climate chancellor? Of course!”
Chancellor Merkel is allowing energy minister Gabriel’s climate levy go to down the drain but that doesn’t mean she isn’t the “climate chancellor,” writes Bernhard Pötter in an op-ed for the taz. Merkel’s actions on the international stage are much more important for the global climate than her behaviour at home. Letting down Gabriel – a Social Democrat - and seeing him fall out with the trade unions that usually support his party is legitimate power politics in preparation for the next election, Pötter says. What’s important is that Merkel stands by Germany’s emission reduction target. Lignite mining and burning is on its way out anyway, says Pötter, but how Germany treats the losers of the energy transformation is important because it sends as much of a signal to the world as the Energiewende itself.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Solar sector has the battery fever”
The solar industry is emerging from a crisis with new business models for the future, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). The global market for photovoltaics is booming, particularly in Asia and the United States, which is good news also for German companies who still have an advantage when it comes to innovation, research and development, the article says. The Intersolar trade fair in Munich showed that many companies were pinning their hopes on solar storage, among them Solarwatt from Dresden, who presented their battery “MyReserve” with an overall efficiency of 93 percent. The home battery is designed to rival a similar device by American manufacturer Tesla, the article says.
German Wind Energy Association (BWE)
“EnBW new member of German Wind Energy Association”
One of Germany’s four largest power utilities, EnBW has joined the German Wind Energy Association. “We can see that with its strategy and investments in renewable technologies, EnBW is positioning itself strongly for the Energiewende,” a BWE press release says. EnBW (which in 2013 generated most of its power in hard coal and nuclear plants) was following a strategy for 2020 that puts emphasise on the development of offshore wind power, an EnBW representative says in the press release.
See a CLEW factsheet on German utilities here.