05 Mar 2015, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Ellen Thalman

In the media: Energiewende indices show progress

Die Welt /McKinsey Germany

“McKinsey: Energiewende indices improve“

The McKinsey Energiewende Index, a bi-annually published analysis of how well Germany is achieving its energy transition targets, has never been very positive, Daniel Wetzel writes in Die Welt. But this spring, eleven of the 15 indices used to evaluate climate protection, security of supply and cost effectiveness show signs of improving. Photovoltaic and offshore wind development, progress in grid extension and an increase in jobs in the renewables sector and energy-intensive industry are rated positively in the index. Nevertheless, McKinsey still criticises that CO2 emissions, the cost of renewables support (EEG-surcharge) and grid interventions, the power price for both households and industry and primary energy consumption are not following the trajectory planned by the government.

See the new Energiewende-Index charts in German here.

Read the McKinsey article describing the Energiewende-Index results in German here.

Read an article about the index in Die Welt in German here.


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) / AG-Energiebilanzen

“Share of renewables in power consumption at 27.8 percent”

According to latest figures published by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the AG-Energiebilanzen, the share of renewables in German gross power consumption reached a record 27.8 percent in 2014. In 2013 it was 25.4 percent. In the heating sector (9.9%) and in the transport sector (5.4%), the share of renewable energies remained stable. Renewable energies helped to avoid the emission of 148 million tonnes of CO2 in 2014. Businesses and private individuals invested 18.8 billion euros in new renewable power installations in Germany last year (See graph below). Investment in wind power doubled compared to 2013, while investment in photovoltaic installations was almost halved.

See the BMWi press-release in German here.

Download the latest BMWi data/charts on renewable energies in 2014 in German here.

See a CLEW article on Germany's renewable development and greenhouse gas emissions here.


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

“Gabriel: European Energy Union as a big opportunity”

After a meeting with EU energy ministers over the design of a new Energy Union, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Sigmar Gabriel called for "concrete suggestions" to meet goals. “The Energy Union gives us the great opportunity to make Europe’s energy sector stronger and advance European integration. This includes the security of gas supply but in particular it includes progress in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energies, not only for climate protection reasons but notably also for reasons of security of supply. It is important that we take the 2030 targets for greenhouse gas reduction, renewables development and an increase in energy efficiency seriously and do not quietly abandon them. For this we now need some concrete suggestions on how these targets are implemented.”

See the BMWi press release in German here.



“Op-Ed: False outrage”

Germany is neither at the forefront of climate protection, nor is its effort to cut emissions hurting industry, says Green politician and chair of the environment committee in the Bundestag, Bärbel Höhn, in an opinion piece in the Handelsblatt. Höhn wants industry associations to “constructively” contribute to the Energiewende. She says Germany has done very little to save CO2 in heating, transport and energy efficiency and that much more could be done.  Renewables, at 30 percent of electricity production, is quite an achievement, she says, but she worries that the government will slow this trend with its recent reform of the renewable energy law. Price rises have hurt private consumers, small businesses and manufacturing the most, who are footing the bill for the Energiewende, and only to a lesser extent big industry, she says, citing data that shows prices for industry have barely changed since the start of the Energiewende.



“E.ON posts record loss”

Citing company sources, Handelsblatt  says power utility E.ON will post a record loss of 3 billion euros for 2014, compared to a profit of 2.1 billion euros in 2013. The company is due to make public its annual report next Wednesday, but had already flagged the loss in December when E.ON head Johannes Teyssen presented a new strategy. E.ON plans to split the company in two, with one company focusing on renewable energy and the other, slated for eventual sale, on fossil-fueled energy.  Analysts had predicted losses in a range of 2-4 billion euros, according to the newspaper.

Read the article in German here.

See a CLEW dossier on utilities and the energy transition here.



“Power storage can safeguard Energiewende in the long term”

Increasing renewables in the power mix, accompanied by a decrease in adjustable fossil capacity will likely require better power storage in the long term, a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has found. Germany wants to cover 80 percent of power consumption from renewables by 2050. Just how much storage capacity will be needed also depends on the flexibility of the power-demand side, the flexibility of future biomass and gas plants and power exchange with other countries. In the short and medium term, a further development of renewables will be possible without a significant increase in storage capacity, the researchers write.

Download the DIW paper in German here (p. 195).


DIW / Öko-Institut

“E-mobility in Germany: CO2 balance depends on type of charging power”

Boosting the number of electric vehicles on the road would not increase power demand from transport significantly compared to overall power demand, according to a study by the DIW and the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Insitut). Whether the e-car fleet can contribute to stabilising the electricity system and save CO2 depends on the way they are charged (e.g. during the photovoltaic peak production around noon or at times of low demand in the night). If the increase in renewables capacity in Germany is matched to the power usage of electric cars, 6.9 million tonnes of CO2 could be saved annually by 2030.

See the DIW discussion paper “Power System Impacts of Electric Vehicles in Germany: Charging with Coal or Renewables?” here.

See the Öko-Institut report on two electromobility scenarios for Germany in English here.


Frankfurter Rundschau

“A costly deal”

By taking legal action against the EU Commission over state support for the UK's nuclear power project Hinkley Point, Greenpeace Energy and the state of Austria dare to do something the German government shies away from, Thorsten Knuf writes in an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Rundschau. This is more than a case of national sensitivities or interests, it’s about the credibility of European competition and energy policy, Knuf says. If Hinkley Point receives state aid of more than 20 billion euros as the EU has allowed, this will distort the European energy market, he says.

See the Greenpeace announcement to bring legal action against the EU Commission over Hinkley Point state aid here.

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