In the media: Energiewende “top or flop”; PV auctions trial oversubscribed
“Green state ministers criticise Gabriel’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) reform plans”
Environment and energy ministers from nine German states have warned Federal Minister for Energy and Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel to ensure citizen participation in renewable energy projects when changing rules in the Renewable Energy Act, the dpa reports. The minister has proposed to introduce tenders for all wind projects bigger than 1 megawatt, but the ministers claim this would curb citizen engagement and the limit should be raised to 6 megawatts.
Read the report in German here.
Read stakeholder views on the proposed auctions for renewable installations by CLEW here.
BMWi / Federal Network Agency
“Many offers in second round of PV auctions”
The second round of pilot auctions for free-standing photovoltaic (PV) installations have finished with 136 bids made by project planners, the Federal Network Agency and Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) announced. The tendered PV capacity of 150 megawatts was oversubscribed three times, a ministry press release said. State secretary at the BMWi, Rainer Baake, said that the second round of auctions had been successful and that he was curious how the results of the uniform pricing system would influence prices. The first round of PV auctions in April 2015 had been conducted under “pay-as-bid” rules while the August tender followed the “uniform pricing” system where the highest successful bid sets the price for all other successful tenders. The Federal Grid Agency had set a maximum price of 11.18 cent per kilowatt-hour, the average successful bid in April came in at 9.17 ct/kWh.
“Exit in instalments”
RWE CEO Peter Terium sticks to his plan of reforming the ailing conglomerate step by step, writes Jürgen Flauger in the Handelsblatt. Unlike competitor E.ON there will not be an immediate cut-off of the power plant sector but the extensive restructuring of affiliated companies that Terium will announce on Monday will have the side effect of making it easier in the future to split off the power sector, Flauger says. The renewable energies arm will get a Chief Operating Officer in the managing board, Flauger writes, citing sources at RWE.
Read a CLEW article about utilities and the Energiewende here.
“The Energiewende is in its decisive phase: top or flop”
In an interview with radio station SWR, Gerd Rosenkranz from Agora Energiewende* talks about the state of the energy transition in Germany and about the new clean power plan in the US. “It turns out that the critics who have been claiming that no other countries are following Germany’s example of climate action, have judged prematurely. It now turns out that the really important countries in the world are pursuing climate action as well and Germany has to make sure that it doesn’t fall behind,” Rosenkranz said. While getting tangled up in the democratic process and the details of implementing the Energiewende, it was important that messages like “wind and solar power have produced more power in the month of July than ever before,” were spread so that people could see that all the efforts were taking effect, he said.
Listen to the interview in German here.
“On Clean Energy, the U.S. Should Be More German”
President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan might be considered ambitious, as long as it wasn’t compared to the German example, writes Leonid Bershidsky on Bloomberg View in a column. Bershidsky says the US should follow Germany’s example of creating a renewable surcharge on power bills for households and small businesses and using the extra funds to help renewable markets be competitive. Even though emissions hadn’t declined at the same pace as renewables grew, the Energiewende couldn’t be considered a failure, Bershidsky writes. “The German coal boom is likely to subside […]. Meanwhile, the surcharge is decreasing as production costs for renewables decline, thanks in part to Germany's determination to create the market even if it meant the bankruptcy of homegrown equipment producers and the rise of their Chinese competitors,” he says. Unlike Germany, Bershidsky contends, the US plan lacks the “affirmative action” to make renewables a priority.
Read the entire column here.
* Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.