21 Jul 2015 | Sören Amelang

In the media: German operations cost Vattenfall dearly

Vattenfall

Impairment losses and higher provisions for German operations

Impairment losses and higher provisions for its German activities, as well as low electricity prices, widened losses at Swedish utility Vattenfall in the second quarter. Vattenfall said it took an impairment of 15 billion Swedish crowns (1.6 billion euros) on its German lignite operations and a euro 430 million impairment on the Moorburg hard coal plant in Hamburg. Additionally, it increased provisions for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in Germany by around 140 million euros “as a result of an updated calculation of future costs." Vattenfall also increased the provisions for its German mining operations by 280 million euros “mainly associated with an updated plan for land restoration.”  
The company said the government decision to keep old coal-fired power stations on standby mode could lower CO2 emissions while ensuring security of supply. „It also creates greater clarity about the conditions for our work on finding a new owner for our lignite assets in Germany“, said CEO Magnus Hall in a press release.

Read the press release in English here.

Read a CLEW article about the Moorburg power plant here.

Read a CLEW report on government plans for old coal-fired plants here.

 

German Wind Energy Association (BWE)

Another 422 offshore wind turbines online

422 new offshore wind turbines with a capacity of 1,765.3 megawatt (MW) went online in Germany in the first half of the year, according to the German Wind Energy Association (BWE). At the end of June, a total of 668 offshore turbines with an overall capacity of 2,777.8 MW fed power into the German grid. “With the current offshore wind energy output the system can supply around three million households with power”, according to the press release. “In the German North and Baltic Seas wind turbines with a total capacity of up to 3,300 MW should be hooked up to the grid by the end of the year, as planned.” Germany’s target is to install 6,500 MW offshore wind power by 2020.

Read the press release in English here.

 

Die Zeit

“Power will be in short supply”

Power will be in short supply in the south of Germany in the early 2020s, Franz Untersteller, environment minister of the German state of Baden-Württemberg, told Die Zeit in an interview. The Green politician said nuclear power stations with a total capacity of 8,400 MW, as well as old conventional power stations, will be taken off the grid in the coming years, and new electricity highways will probably not be ready to transport wind power from the north to the south. Untersteller said he doubted whether the reform of the power market, as planned by economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, will offer sufficient incentives for investments to ensure supply security. “In reality, Gabriel plans a privatisation of supply security”, said Untersteller. He said the proposal for power market reform was based on expert reports that had little to do with realities in the power sector.

Read the interview in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the reform of the power market here.

 

Renewables International

“PV getting squeezed out in Germany”

Prices for solar arrays have risen this year in Germany, but feed-in tariffs continue to drop, reports Craig Morris at Renewables International. Morris says the rates will stabilize because the monthly reductions are based on market volume, and solar installations lag behind government targets at present. “If the market slows down further, the reductions will stop completely. But not even that will help if system prices continue to rise.”

Read the article in English here.

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