“Brave new world”
The single market for European energy that EU citizens have been waiting for for years, is now called the Energy Union, Thomas Ludwig writes in an opinion piece for the Handelsblatt. Advertising experts would call the EU Commission's strategy paper on the Energy Union (due to be published today) a “re-branding” exercise, Ludwig says. The concept is only what the EU has wanted to achieve for years: security of supply, freedom from Russian gas, continued technology leadership in the renewable sector, more energy efficiency, and cross-border grid development.
“A pact against dependency on Putin”
In an opinion piece for the Handelsblatt, Guy Verhofstadt MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, list measures they believe are necessary for the success of the Energy Union. The liberal politicians say the single energy market must be open to cross-border competition – state interventions are a no-go. Instead of 28 national support schemes for renewable energies, they suggest a single European system that commits all power suppliers to providing a certain share of the power they sell from renewable sources. They also argue that the EU Commission should play a greater role in coordinating the EU’s foreign policy on energy issues. “Energy price negotiations with Russia and Ukraine would be an important signal in this direction.”
See the op-ed in German here.
Allianz Climate Solutions / Germanwatch
“Germany risks its secure power supply”
Allianz Climate Solutions and Germanwatch say that the security of Germany’s power supply will be under threat after 2020 without new incentives to build gas power plants. The NGOs commissioned a study by the Arrhenius Institute for Energy and Climate Policy, which found that without reform the power market would be unable to stimulate sufficient investment. Once nuclear power stations are shut down for good in 2020, Germany will lack capacity unless enough new power station projects are planned now, Karsten Löffler, managing director of Allianz Climate Solutions, said in a press release. He said that planning and building a new power plant takes at least five years. The Arrheniuns researchers conclude that a capacity market is needed in addition to the energy only market, to give power stations a second, reliable stream of income to trigger the required investment.
See the press release in German here.
Download the study in German here.
See CLEW's Dossier on proposed power market reforms here.
Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten
“New mines for Vattenfall sale”
The state premiers of Brandenburg and Saxony have demanded that Vattenfall stick to its plans to extend lignite mining in eastern Germany, saying this will boost the Swedish state-owned utility's chances of getting a good price for its ignite operations. Vattenfall announced that it would sell its brown coal mines and power plants last year, following a decision by the Swedish government to cut CO2 emissions. The two German state premiers wrote to the parliament in Stockholm, the responsible Swedish minister and Vattenfall management, calling for continued investment in lignite, the Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten reports. For the first time they “indirectly admit” to pushing through the planning process for two new lignite mines, with a view to making Vattenfall's operations more attractive to a potential buyer, the article says.
See the article in German here.