07 Jul 2015 | Sören Amelang, Ellen Thalman

In the media: Environmentalists oppose environmentalists on wind power

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Headwind”

The rapid increase in the number of wind turbines is leading to rising resistance in many rural areas in Germany’s north, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung in a full-page report on the technology. Opponents claim the turbines ruin the landscape, kill birds, endanger health and earn money for a select few. “Environmentalists appear to oppose environmentalists,” writes Thomas Hahn. Many advocates of wind power argue that putting the windmills in the hands of citizens’ cooperatives instead of large investors is the best way to get locals on board, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.

Read the CLEW factsheet about citizens’ participation in the Energiewende here.

Read a CLEW interview about local resistance against renewable projects here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Industry on the high seas”

Offshore wind has been booming in Germany since last year after a slow start, reports Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “400 wind turbines have been constructed or started operation, a further two GW will probably be added this year – the capacity equivalent of two nuclear power stations.” The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) is confident the government target of 6.5 GW of offshore capacity by 2020 will be reached, perhaps even much earlier, writes Bauchmüller.

Read the article in German here.

 

Siemens

“Veja Mate Offshore orders 67 wind turbines including record long-term service”

German industry conglomerate Siemens will supply, install and commission 67 of its 6 MW offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 402 megawatts at the Veja Mate Offshore wind power plant in the German North Sea, according to a company press release. “Also included is a 15-year service and maintenance agreement, representing the largest ever wind service order for Siemens in Germany and the second largest globally,” Siemens said.

Read the press release in English here.

 

Handelsblatt

“Collateral Damage of the Energiewende”

Given the existential crisis of major utilities RWE and E.ON, it would be understandable if the government were to secure the companies’ reserves for decommissioning nuclear plants in a fund, writes Jürgen Flauger in a commentary for Handelsblatt. “But it would be the death knell for their balance sheet," he writes. "The Energiewende is irreversible. But E.ON and RWE have to fight for their existence.”  Both companies are partly to blame for their current misery because they were far too slow to adapt to the new energy world, argues Flauger. But it’s also true that political intervention in the energy market is so great that both have suffered collateral damage, the author says.

 

E3G

“Are RWE’s lignite plants set for a taxpayer bail-out?”

The German government’s decision to pay operators of coal-fired power plants for mothballing plants for use when sun and wind power are unavailable will reward RWE for past mismanagement and possibly raise questions about EU state-aid rules, write Julian Schwartzkopff, Chris Littlecott and Sabrina Schulz in a blog for E3G. RWE lobbied hard for the reserve, they say, because it has been losing money on its old, lignite plants. The writers claim that RWE has kept these inefficient plants open, bargaining that the government would give them a public bailout.

Read the article in English here.

 

Manager Magazine

“Why so many people bad-mouth the Energiewende”

The German public discussion of the Energiewende often takes a short-term view, and a “winner and loser” mentality, writes Günther Bachmann in a commentary for Manager Magazine. This populist perception of the energy transition as a black hole where billions of euros are disappearing neglects the economic opportunities offered by the Energiewende, argues Bachmann, who is the General Secretary of the German Council for Sustainable Development, an advisory body that works closely with the business world to promote green standards and reports back to the German federal government.

Read the article in German here

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