In the media: Breather for wind industry; renewables help EnBW
“Breather for the German wind industry”
Onshore wind power development in Germany decreased by 34 percent in the first six months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, the BWE reports. By the end of June, 1,093 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity had been added – far from the record 1,659 MW addition of the previous year, but still the second best result in the history of Germany's onshore wind power, the BWE says. Strong winds were partly to blame for the decline, because they prevent the operation of the tall cranes needed for the construction of wind turbines. Engineering Association VDMA expects completions to pick up strongly in the second half of the year, so additions will total 4,000 to 4,500 MW in the whole of 2015. The German wind industry was healthy, VDMA manager Matthias Zelinger said, but wind turbine manufacturers were burdened by permanent alterations in investment conditions due to policy changes.
Read the BWE–VDMA press release in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Coal remains popular in the world”
Despite political statements about cutting down on CO2 emissions, the extraction and burning of coal is on the rise around the globe, reports Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According to the German Coal Importer Association, 7.2 billion tonnes were used in 2014, double the amount in 2010, writes Mihm. The association expects a further increase this year, albeit at a slower pace. In Germany, demand for coal fell by 8 percent last year because of mild weather, low electricity demand and the increasing share of renewables. Nevertheless, imports rose to a record 56.2 million tonnes, according to the report.
Rise in renewables and energy sales segment secure stable H1 result
EnBW, one of Germany’s four dominant utilities, reported a largely unchanged operating result in the first half of 2015, as growth in energy sales and its renewables segment balanced declines in its grid and power generation results.
The group said the renewables unit’s operating result should rise “at least” 20 percent this year, as commissioning of its Baltic 2 offshore wind park would be completed and new onshore wind plants added. Low power prices on the wholesale market continued to hit results in the generation and trading unit, the group said, predicting a full-year drop between 15 and 25 percent in this segment.
For the first half of 2015, EnBW reported revenue of 10.9 billion euros and an operating result (adjusted EBITDA) of nearly 1.3 billion euros with 20,061 employees. The renewables operating result stood at 87.5 million euros, the operating result in the generation and trading unit at 542.5 million euros and in the energy sales segment at 179.4 million euros.
The group posted a net profit of roughly 1 billion euros in the first half compared to a loss of over 700 million euros a year earlier, when massive write-downs on conventional power plants hit its bottom line.
Read a CLEW dossier on the big utilities' struggle to cope with the energy transition here.
Frankfurter Rundschau / dpa
“One million e-cars by 2020 is unrealistic”
Under current policy conditions Germany will fail to have a million electric cars on its roads by 2020, Uwe Schneidewind, president of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy told the Frankfurter Rundschau. Schneidewind called it an “illusion” to solve climate and environment issues by replacing petrol-fuelled cars with e-cars, since resource demand would increase and traffic wouldn’t be reduced. E-cars only made sense in combination with new mobility concepts in cities, like improvements to public transport and bicycle infrastructure.
Read the article in German here.
German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW)
“Consumption of gas and power increase in first half of 2016 due to cooler weather”
Compared to the first half of 2014, gas consumption in Germany rose by 13.6 percent in the first six months of 2015, the BDEW resports. Electricity usage increased by 0.7 percent, according to first estimates. The main reason for using more gas and power were comparatively cool temperatures this year, together with the positive economic development, the BDEW says. While natural gas consumption rose from 414.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) to 470.4 billion kWh, usage remained lower than the average in the past decade.
“Inventions push the Energiewende”
The transition to an energy system dominated by renewables is triggering new inventions and the inventions are spurring the Energiewende, utility RWE says in a press release. The company has developed over 300 new ideas and had many of them patented in recent years, focusing mostly on wind power, smart homes, smart meters and electric mobility.
Read a CLEW dossier on technologies of the Energiewende here.