In the media: German insurers keen to invest in renewables

German Insurance Association (GDV)

Insurers keen to increase investments in renewable energy

German insurers want to pour more money into renewables to profit from the reliable income streams they generate. "Around 13 percent of today’s installed capacity from renewable electricity sources were financed by institutional investors," the German Insurance Association says in a position paper. "A quarter of all asset managers based in Germany have added renewables or electricity grids to their portfolios. Insurers have already invested billions of euros in infrastructure projects in a broader sense and have a great interest to extend their engagement." The association applauds the government’s green paper with proposals for pending reform of the power market. “The government wants to contribute to a credible legal framework that investors can trust,” the GDV paper says. Low interest rates are forcing insurers to look for new long-term investment opportunities largely independent of financial markets, writes the association. Renewables are particularly well suited for this because they have long life expectancies and offer stable and projectable capital flows and returns, thanks to feed-in tariffs.

Read the GDV’s statement in German here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German industry calls Bavaria’s resistance to power lines “irresponsible”

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) has sharply criticised Bavaria’s resistance to new electricity superhighways to transport wind power from the north to the energy-hungry south of the country. “The CSU’s (Bavaria’s conservative party’s) behaviour is irresponsible. Supply security is one of the most precious goods, and for this security we need grids. No federal state can go it alone and be self-sufficient,” association head Ulrich Grillo told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Asked to name the most urgent tasks for Germany, he answered: “We have to implement the Energiewende more persistently. If this was a 100 metre race, we’ve only managed 10 metres.” Grillo also said he regretted the set-back for planned subsidies for home insulation: “Building efficiency offers by far the largest potential for energy savings.”

See CLEW's Dossier on grid expansion here

 

dpa-AFX

“Merkel promotes nuclear phase-out in Japan”

During her state visit to Japan, Chancellor Angela Merkel is promoting Germany’s transition to a low-carbon economy and nuclear phase-out, according to a report by dpa-AFX. “The most unlikely risks can become reality,” Merkel said in Tokyo, referring to the meltdown in Fukushima almost exactly four years ago, according to the report. “For me, Fukushima was a decisive event, because it happened in a country with very high technical quality,” Merkel said during a discussion with students and university professors. She also said that increasing efficiency, for example with building insulation, should be an important goal of energy policy. “We can learn a lot from each other,” Merkel said, adding that she had faced criticism for holding on to nuclear energy for too long.

See CLEW's Factsheet on the nuclear phase-out here

 

ARD Tagesschau.de/Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Power plant Irsching should stay online”

Both the federal government in Berlin and the Bavarian state administration want to prevent the mothballing of Irsching, a large and modern gas power station near Ingolstadt in Bavaria, tagesschau.de reports. After operator E.ON announced it would apply for the closure of the plant, Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) would check whether the plant was essential to the stability of the power system, and that if this was the case, the mothballing would not be permitted. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) says it is unlikely the Bavarian gas plant would be shut down, since Bavaria will need Irsching to maintain supply security following the closure of the nuclear power sation in Grafenrheinfeld in May. Bavaria’s state premier Horst Seehofer said it would be a “bad joke” if one of Europe's most efficient gas power stations risks closure while old coal fired power stations continue to operate.

See the ARD article in German here and a related article explaining the Bavarian position in the Süddeutsche Zeitung here.

 

World Energy Focus/Energy Post

“Interview Johannes Teyssen, CEO E.ON: ‘Future energy world has drifted far apart from the classical one’”

In an interview with World Energy Focus, reproduced in part by Energy Post, E.ON head Johannes Teyssen explains the utility's decision to split into two separate companies. Teyssen told World Energy Focus that different approaches are needed in conventional power generation – which must provide supply security – and “the energy world of the future” which will be driven by technological developments including e-mobility and big data.

See the interview in English on Energy Post here.

See CLEW’s Dossier on the German utilities here

 

World Energy Council

“German energy policy – a blueprint for the world?”

The World Energy Council (WEC) survey “German energy policy – a blueprint for the world?”, which questioned 35 WEC chairmen in 20 countries and featured in CLEW's News Digest on 20 February, is now available in English here.

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