Interview with Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks
With the Climate Action Programme, due to be passed by cabinet next week, Germany is on track to reach its greenhouse gas reduction targets, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks says on Friday in an interview with RBB Info. She backs energy minister Sigmar Gabriel's plan to cut 22 million tonnes CO2 from the power sector, with power plant operators deciding for themselves which stations to retire, partially retire or use less in order to achieve the emissions reduction. “There will be a kind of emissions budget and which plant owners may not exceed,” Hendricks explains in the interview. The minister said it would not do to put too much pressure on utilities as expanding renewables were forcing them find a new business model and “nobody would benefit from them not making it, because who would then pay for nuclear waste management?”
Listen to the interview in German here.
"Coal or Climate?"
The compromise between the Ministries of Environment and Economic Affairs will involve power market reform and premium payments for electricity generators who can guarantee security of supply via a capacity premium, the WirtschaftsWoche writes, citing government sources. If the payments are connected to an emissions cap, no actual ban on power stations will be necessary, the author Cordula Tutt explains. This way the government will avoid being sued for damages by the utilities who have to close down power plants, she writes.
See the article in German here.
"In 2040 coal will be irrelevant"
Maria Krautzberger, president of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) says in an interview with Dagmar Dehmer of Der Tagesspiegel that it was “clear that coal will be all but irrelevant in 2040 or 2050”. The difficult task at hand was paving the way for this to happen, since conflicting social and political interests were clashing, Krautzberger said. Some of these problems would be easier to tackle if the European emissions trading scheme worked better, Krautzberger said, but if it continued to fail, Europe would have to consider other instruments to reduce carbon emissions.
See the interview in German here.
Federal Ministry for the Environment/WirtschaftsWoche Green
"Greentech made in Germany"
A new project, launched by the Federal Ministry for the Environment maps environmental technology initiatives in Germany, including over 2,000 companies in the sector. Environment and efficiency products made up 2.5 billion euros or 6 percent of the global market volume – green tech from Germany made up 14 percent of the world market, the Ministry said in a press release.
See the green tech atlas in English here.
See a story on the project on Wiwo Green in German here.
"Germany and the EU are ready to go via Lima to Paris"
In an essay for the Climate Action website, Germany’s Minister for the Environment, Barbara Hendricks gives an overview of Germany’s position and ambitions in climate protection, particularly at the upcoming UN climate summits in Lima and next year in Paris.
See the article in English here.
"63 percent of under 30s would use green energy"
A survey commissioned by retail company Tchibo found that 63 percent of respondents aged between 18 and 29 could foresee switching to green energy, while 8 percent already used green power. An article in WirtschaftsWoche Green suggests the low figure for actual use might be because many young people live with their parents or in shared accommodation. Just 31 percent of over 60s said they would consider using green power and the figure was lowest for pensioners at just 28 percent. The highest rate of actual green energy use was among those aged 45 to 59, at 21 percent.
See the article in WiWo Green here.
See the Tchibo press release here.
Manager Magazin Online
"Electricity gets cheaper, grid connection gets more expensive"
Writing for Manager Magazin, Nils Viktor Sorge reports that despite the price per kilowatt hour of power from many providers falling next year, consumers won’t necessarily see lower bills as utilities are increasingly raising the basic price for power connection. Of the 253 companies that have reduced their price per kWh, only 3 percent have reduced the basic connection price for 2015, compared to 20 percent that have increased it.
See the article in German here.
"We have a cost problem"
Steffen Uhlmann in the Süddeutsche Zeitung writes that increased energy standards are pushing up rental costs for German tenants. Construction costs per square metre for home in multi-story apartment buildings have increased by 50 percent over the last decade, according to the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Enterprise, and are only expected to rise further as tougher energy standards are introduced. Meanwhile, the cost of insulation materials has gone up 60 percent over the last 12 years. Still, the organisation says the average proportion of income spent on property rental only rose from 31 percent to 33 percent over the last ten years. From 2006 to 2013, 150 billion euros of state-subsidised investment was made in improving energy efficiency in 3.4 million homes, Uhlmann writes.
"Why splitting the atom breaks Germany’s rational rules"
Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy was a "knee-jerk reaction" writes Eva Ladipo in an opinion piece for the Financial Times. Ladipo says the German system for "preventing political accidents has been bypassed" in the decision to phase out nuclear power after the Fukushima accident in 2011. She says turning away from nuclear energy will cost Chancellor Angela Merkel and the country "dear".
"Molten Aluminium Lakes Offer Power Storage for German Wind Farms"
In an article for Bloomberg, Tino Anderson reports on experiments by Trimet Aluminium, Germany’s largest producer of aluminium, that could utilise the metal’s production process as a way of storing electricity. Because of fluctuating supply from renewable sources, in 2014 the day-ahead power price per megawatt-hour ranged from 52.68 euros to negative 4.13 euros, Anderson writes. Aluminium manufacture involves power-intensive electrolysis. Adjusting the rate at which it is produced could “soak up” power when it is cheap, to resell when prices rise. The article quotes Marian Klobasa, a research scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute, saying the technique could also be used in chlorine production, another electrolysis-based process.
See the article in English here.