In the media: Five megatrends usher in global Energiewende
“‘5 megatrends’ for a global energy transition”
There are five global ‘megatrends’ pointing to a world-wide energy transition, according to an overview by renewable power provider Lichtblick and environmental NGO WWF, who have joined forces to speed up the energy transition in Germany. “The result: Germany is no longer alone in pursuing the targets of the Energiewende. Rather, our country is part of a global movement,” reads the summary. “There is a real danger Germany and Europe will be left behind by other countries, as they show a certain fatigue in their quest to achieve energy and climate targets.”
Craig Morris at energytransition.de sums up the trends as follows: 1) The beginning of the end of the fossil era is here; 2) Renewables are being built faster than coal, gas, and nuclear together; 3) The cost of renewable energy is falling; 4) The energy future consists of a large number of distributed generators, not a small number of central-station plants; 5) The energy future is digital. Morris comments the study unfairly compares installed capacities of wind, solar, coal and nuclear, because in reality, around 8 GW of solar capacity are needed to replace 1 GW of nuclear.
Read the publication in German here.
Read Craig Morris’ summary and comments in English here.
“A market model for flexibility”
Flexibility is a very important part of the power market 2.0 suggested by the government white paper, Robert Busch, managing director at the Association of Energy Market Innovators (BNE) writes in a guest article for the Tagesspiegel. Flexibility is what brings fluctuating renewable power input together with fluctuating power consumption. However, price signals from the national wholesale power market are not enough to ensure maximum flexibility, Busch says. The BNE therefore suggests a “Flexmarkt” that uses digital coordination to make sure that local weather phenomenona and consumer conduct are also represented in the power market and that generators and consumers are paid for providing flexibility. This would make power grid management cheaper, more efficient and limit the need for new power lines, Busch writes.
See a CLEW factsheet on the new power market design proposal by the government here.
Germany launches work on climate action plan 2050 – documentation of kick-off conference
The Ministry for Environment has published speeches and presentations from the kick-off conference on a new climate action plan for 2050. The process, which involves several expert hearings and working group sessions on subjects such as energy economy, transport, buildings, industry and agriculture, as well as citizen participation, aims to have the climate action plan 2050 ready for government approval in the third quarter of 2016.
See the documentation of the first meeting in German here.
Windkraft Journal / Stiebel Eltron
“UN climate conference: 80 percent of Germans support G7 climate targets”
According to the Stiebel Eltron energy trend monitor 2015, 80 percent of Germans agree that an overhaul of the energy sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using less and less coal, gas and oil are important to meet the G7 climate targets. Just 12 percent said they were against giving up the use of oil and gas in their own homes. The poll of 2,000 German citizens also found that most are ready to implement the 2-degree-warming limit also agreed by the G7. But 58 percent said the support system for renewable energies in Germany was intransparent. Stiebel Eltron is a company selling energy and heating technology for households.
Read the Stiebel Eltron press release in German here.
“Battery storage: One percent cheaper every four weeks”
The cost of batteries is falling by 1 percent every four weeks, according to "futurologist" Lars Thomsen, founder of think tank Future Matters. According to pv magazine, he said the technology was also becoming one percent more cycle-proof and its energy density was also rising by one percent over the same period. This is why it makes sense to use renewable energies to power transport - and not only from an ecological point of view, Thomson said at a mobility conference in Berlin. Thomsen argued it would be a major boost for e-mobility when batteries are able to feed energy back onto the grid when needed, the magazine reports.
Read the article in German here.
“Bottom-up approach Energiewende: solar storage at home”
More and more companies, including US e-car manufacturer Tesla but also big German names like BMW, Daimler and Bosch, are investing in batteries that can store solar power at home, writes Patricia Uhlig for Reuters. The devices are typically the size of a fridge and are installed in basements. At the moment they cost as much as a small car, which according to Jörg Mayer, head of the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) makes them too expensive for most consumers. But prices are falling fast, he tells Uhlig. Home batteries could trigger a new boom for photovoltaics, because households could use up to 80 percent of the power their arrays produce, Uhlig writes.