taz / dpa
“The concept has definitely failed”
Germany’s Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks considers negotiations between the federal government and state governments over which states will store nuclear waste to have failed, a dpa article in the taz says. At least three states needed to take some of the radioactive material but only two (Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Württemberg) volunteered. Now the federal ministry will come up with a new concept to distribute 26 containers of nuclear waste evenly across the republic. The radioactive waste is currently in treatment facilities in France and the UK but must be brought back to Germany by 2020.
See the article in German here.
“Becoming independent together”
EU leaders will debate the European Commission’s proposal for an Energy Union in Brussels on Thursday. While all member states want more independence from Russian gas imports, most of the details are still disputed, Thomas Ludwig writes in the Handelsblatt. Eastern European countries see security of supply as the focal point, while Germany, Denmark and Austria want more commitments on energy efficiency and renewables. Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Romania and the UK have announced billions worth of investments in nuclear power. “Berlin does not like this,” Ludwig writes. Even though energy efficiency measures could save eastern European countries 3.5 billion euros annually in gas bills, Poland will only grudgingly accept tougher efficiency standards, the article says.
See the article in German here.
“Germany wants to give more money for repairs in Chernobyl”
The German government is to increase its funding for the new "sarcophagus" to contain the ruin of the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl by 18 million euros, according to a report by dpa. The finance ministry’s draft budget contains an additional annual contribution of 4.5 million euros towards the construction, for the period from 2016 to 2019. The new steel sarcophagus replaces a concrete structure that has become brittle, and is meant to provide permanent protection from radioactivity at the site of the 1986 desaster in today's Ukraine.
Read the article in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung/Reuters
“RWE aims for the sun with Conergy”
Utility giant RWE has bought a minority stake in its solar business partner Conergy, report Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Reuters. Germany’s second largest utility is taking part in a capital increase meant to inject 45 million euros into Conergy’s coffers, said Conergy's owner, US investor Kawa Capital Management. Conergy did not specify the scale of RWE’s stake but said the utility had made the biggest single investment in the capital increase. Conergy wants to use the money to finance its growth strategy, new projects and possibly smaller acqusitions. RWE is heavily dependent on fossil power generation, and last week announced a sharp drop in profits for 2014. Hamburg-based Conergy was one of Europe’s largest solar power companies before it filed for insolvency two years ago. It has recently returned to profitability.
See the Reuters report in English here.
See a CLEW article on the plight of Germany's large utilities here.
See CLEW's Dossier on the German utilities here.