Bloomberg/The Economic Times/Environment Ministry
“Merkel pledges 1 billion euros to fund Indian solar projects”
During Chancellor Angela Merkel’s state visit to India, Germany pledged investment of more than one billion euros in Indian solar power projects, reports Bloomberg. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this was in addition to more than one billion euros for a green-corridor project in India, which involves grid extensions for renewable power, according to German public bank KfW.
An article in India’s Economic Times stressed both countries “agreed to work together to reach an 'ambitious' climate agreement in Paris later this year and stressed that adaptation must be a central part of a balanced accord.”
The environment ministry (BMUB) said in a press release both countries affirmed their determination to give efficiency improvement and renewable energies increasing priority in order to replace fossil energies.
Environmental NGO Germanwatch said the German-Indian agreements had the potential to make Indian energy policy more climate-friendly. It said it was innovative that both countries want to cooperate to support third countries in the roll-out of renewable energies.
Read the Bloomberg article in English here.
Read the article in India’s Economic Times in English here.
Read the environment ministry’s press release here.
Federal Grid Agency (Bundesnetzagentur)
“Grid agency starts third PV tender”
Germany’s Federal Grid Agency has announced the third round of tenders for large solar arrays. The capacity volume of 200 MW exceeds the first two rounds by 50 MW, according to the agency. Bids in this tender with a "uniform pricing system" can be placed until 1 December. The first round of PV auctions in April 2015 had been conducted under “pay-as-bid” rules while the August tender had also followed the uniform pricing system, where the highest successful bid sets the price for all other successful tenders. The tenders will return to the pay-as-bid rules starting in 2016, according to the press release.
Read the press release in German here.
Read a CLEW article on the debate about renewable auctions here.
RWE’s innovation head Inken Braunschmidt: “We want to be the Uber for energy”
In an interview with Energy Post, RWE’s Head of Innovation Inken Braunschmidt says the company’s "Innovation Hub" is looking to the sharing economy, digitisation, big data and smart solutions for homes and cities to boost the company’s turnover. The Hub was set up last year and is structured like a collection of small teams emulating start-ups. Braunschmidt told the Energy Post it was looking at “business models not just in the areas of electricity and infrastructure, but also for mobility, logistics, communications,” as well as solutions to help “prosumers” trade the power they produce – including through peer-to-peer sharing. Braunschmidt said that a decade from now, such innovative products won’t account for the major part of RWE’s income, which will still come from the trading, grid and retail aspects of its traditional business model. But she admitted that “we really have trouble in generation. That part of the value chain is not earning the money of a few years ago.”
See the interview in English here.
"Seehofer's billion-euro grave"
The cost of burying power cables that carry wind power from northern to southern Germany to appease local opposition will amount to between three and eight billion euros, according to a German economics ministry paper seen by the Handelsblatt. These costs will be covered by grid fees on consumers' bills, Klaus Stratmann writes, amounting to between 3.40-9.10 euros annually for a household with annual usage of 3,500 kilowatt-hours. Large users will pay between nine and 24 percent more in grid fees, amounting to between 370,000 and 990,000 euros annually, the ministry reckons, according to the Handelsblatt.
In a separate commentary, Stratmann writes that German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel and state secretary Rainer Baake are "ticking the boxes" on their energy agenda by taking big risks. Burying the cables is the equivalent of paying "hush money" to get Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer off their back, he says. This comes at the expense of the consumer, and the extra cost projected is likely to amount to more, he predicts. At the same time, burying cables is a technical challenge that brings risks of power outages when major problems have to be located, and the power market redesign is faltering on technical details, he says.
Read the article in German (behind a paywall) here.
Read a CLEW dossier on grid extensions here.
"Doubts about nuclear companies"
Only 15.5 percent of 230 energy experts and members of the think tank Energy Academy believe nuclear operators will be able to handle the cost of dismantling plants and storing radioactive waste, the Handelsblatt writes. The think tank, an initiative of the Handelsblatt and other partners, is comprised of corporate managers, scientists and policy makers. Of those polled, 55 percent said that the nuclear companies are "so weakened that they will not be able to come up with the necessary financing over the long term," the paper says. The rest were on the fence. A clear majority doubted that the 38 billion euros in reserves put aside for this purpose were appropriate, while 82 percent believe that the reserves are based on "wrong assumptions." Fifty-nine percent said the state was also responsible.
Read a factsheet on securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Nordex plays the Spanish card"
Wind power plant maker Nordex is is taking a majority stake in the Spanish windpower subsidiary of Acciona, creating a new, large supplier in the market, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes. These two companies share much common ground, the paper says. They are medium-sized "Mittelstand" companies with a long-term interest in the industry and share the conviction that only scale will secure their position in the market. They also complement each other in terms of markets - with Nordex largely involved in Europe and Acciona in the US and emerging markets, the FAZ writes.
Read the article in German here.
"The uses of climate data"
Gathering and publishing company ecological data such as emissions is not overly expensive, as some have asserted, according to a World Wildlife Fund study of companies with over 250 employees by consulting firm KPMG, the Handelsblatt reports. On the contrary, the benefits of collecting this data outweigh the costs in most cases, it says, citing energy savings potential, risk management and improved relationships to customers.
Read the article in German here.