“Don’t get distracted”
The carbon divestment movement and the G7 commitment to decarbonisation indicate that climate policy is getting serious and irreversible, writes Andreas Kuhlmann, the new head of the German Energy Agency (Dena), in a commentary for Die Zeit. But he warns: “What needs to be done to achieve the climate targets for 2020 is nothing compared to what lies ahead in the future”, writes Kuhlmann. “Let’s be honest: There is no plan how to achieve the complete phase-out of coal-fired power generation. There is not even an idea of what the core elements and instruments of a plan might look like.” To make matters worse, much more than a coal exit is needed to bring longer-term targets within reach, says Kuhlmann. “The debate about the end of coal must not distract us from all the other challenges ahead to make the Energiewende a success.”
“Formation of energy cooperatives decreases by 60 percent”
The number of newly founded energy cooperatives fell by 60 percent in 2014, according to a survey by the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV), and jointly presented by the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE). Last year, 54 cooperatives were established, compared to 129 in 2013. “The reform of the renewable energy law (EEG) has put the brakes on the number of new cooperatives. In previous years, the idea of citizens’ energy was booming, but now the development has stalled”, said Eckhard Ott, head of the DGRV, in a press release.
Find the press release in German here.
“The four main errors of German energy policy”
The EU’s emissions trading system is the right approach, but it can only work if Germany stops subsidies and interventions in energy policy, writes Herrmann Otto Solms, a prominent member of Germany’s liberal party FDP, which is currently not represented in parliament, in Focus magazine. He argues the government only addresses the symptoms of fundamental errors in energy policy by reaching into the pockets of consumers and tax payers. He says the four main errors of the Energiewende are 1) grid extensions are too slow, 2) there is no storage capacity, 3) the Energiewende lacks European integration, and 4) the renewable energy law (EEG) is a fundamentally flawed approach.
Read the article in German here.
“Offshore wind park basis Heligoland”
Energy utility company E.ON is next in line with opening an offshore wind park in the North Sea, to be operated from the island of Heligoland, Nick Reimer from klimaretter.info reports in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Reimer describes the construction and size of wind park Amrumbank West which will supply power for 300,000 households and is scheduled to become fully operational in autumn 2015. “With Amrumbank West, E.ON has fully arrived in the Energiewende,” Reimer quotes Sven Utermöhlen, Director Construction and Engineering at E.ON, as saying.
“EnBW orders 45 wind turbines with 150 megawatt capacity from Vestas”
EnBW, one of Germany’s big four utilities, has ordered 45 wind turbines of 3.3 megawatts (MW) each from Danish manufacturer Vestas. EnBW plans to use the V 126 turbines in onshore wind parks in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland Palatinate and Brandenburg, a company press release said. EnBW is planning to add around 300 MW wind capacity to its portfolio in 2016-2017. By 2020, the energy company aims to increase its wind operations from 200 MW to 1,000 MW.