Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Germany - a good climate country?”
It is questionable whether Germany’s energy transition is a good example for other countries to follow, writes political science professor Reinhard Wolf, in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Instead of using the increase in renewables to push out climate- changing coal, they substitute the decrease in nuclear power, which Germany decided to quit using. Comparing the adverse effects that climate change will have on human lives and livelihoods (millions will suffer from extreme poverty and hunger), and the disadvantages of nuclear power (operational risks and radiation, accidents, storage issues) are far less harmful, Wolf concludes. If industrialised nations quit nuclear before coal, that also means they will increase global warming for people in developing countries. All in all, nuclear energy is the lesser evil compared to coal power, Wolf says. German politicians should therefore be more accepting of other countries pursuing nuclear energy as a necessary evil and consider the option of letting Germany’s nuclear power stations run longer than 2022 and phase-out coal more quickly.
“France wants to bury nuclear waste along German border.”
Hidden away in a law on shops’ weekend opening times and the liberalisation of long-distance coach travel, the French government has passed legislation to build a “vast” nuclear waste storage project in the village of Bure, 120 kilometres away from Germany’s Saarland, Thorsten Knuf reports in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. A pilot phase of storing nuclear waste in Bure will start in 2025 — up to 80,000 cubic metres of radioactive remains could eventually be stored several hundred metres underground, under a thick layer of clay, Knuf writes. The state parliament of Saarland condemns the new storage plans as a further concentration of nuclear power facilities in the area and the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Berlin says that it “understands the concerns in the states bordering France.” The German government wants to make sure that France abides by all EU cross-border consultation rules, Knuf says.
Read the article in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
The Energiewende is facing a crisis in sunny southern Germany, writes Andreas Frey in long feature for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Citizens oppose wind turbines and policies in Bavaria help them. Geo thermal facilities and pumped hydro power are also unpopular while the solar industry, once a driver of the renewable boom in southern Germany, is struggling with competition from abroad. “The government has destroyed photovoltaics in Germany,” Eicke Weber head of the solar research institute Fraunhofer ISE told Frey. Too many large companies were exempt from paying the renewable surcharge on power prices, he said.
“TenneT extends network”
German-Dutch grid operator TenneT is increasing network expansion because of the Energiewende, writes dpa. TenneT invested over 900 million euros into its German grid, most of it into new offshore wind farm connections. The company’s overall investment increased by 70 percent compared to the first six months of 2014, to 1.2 billion euros.
Read the report in German here.