taz – die Tageszeitung
“Among energy pioneers”
Chancellor Angela Merkel should use her visit to Brasilia this week as an opportunity to breath fresh wind into the political dialogue concerning renewable energies, writes Sybille Röhrkasten, research associate at the IASS Potsdam, in an opinion piece for the taz. Germany and Brazil have chosen different approaches to renewables policies. Brazil is proud of its high share of hydropower and ethanol production and usage in the transport sector, while Germany questions the sustainability of these energy sources. Such concerns and comments about sustainability are often perceived as a form of “eco-imperialism” in Brazil, Röhrkasten explains. This is causing Brazil to block the dialogue about wind and solar power. The German government should make it clear during meetings this week that it does not only want to send German expertise and technologies to Brazil, but is also prepared to use Brazilian competence in other fields in return.
Read the op-ed in German here.
“Delicate horse trade”
Filling with substance the hastily put together compromise for a “successful implementation of the energy transition” that coalition parties agreed in July is proving to be difficult, writes Klaus Stratmann in an op-ed for the Handelsblatt. Shaping the capacity reserve for old lignite plants could prove particularly challenging as every operator pursues its own goals, depending on the age and size of the plants and whether nearby mines are connected. The government might be able to play utilities off against each other, Stratmann says. This would be ironic, as the plant operators had fought hard to prevent a climate levy which would at least have been calculable and clear.
Ernst & Young / BDEW
Municipal utilities don’t see much economic potential in intelligent grids
Few bosses at municipal utilities regard smart metering and smart grid technology as a promising business, according to a survey by Ernst & Young and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). They also rated the economic potential of electric mobility for their businesses as low. The managers surveyed saw higher potential in renewable energies and virtual power plants, as well as storage technologies, but rated their chances in customer services to have the most potential for success. For the poll, Ernst &Young spoke to 160 managers of utilities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Read the study in German here.
See the press release in German here.
Uniform pricing method is a bid to gamble
The uniform price reached in the recently finished round of photovoltaics (PV) auctions is likely to be around 8.5 cent/kilowatt-hour, energy lawyer Margarete von Oppen told PV-magazine in an interview. The highest successful bid sets the price for all other successful tenders in the uniform pricing model. The system is prone to gambling, says von Oppen, with project developers bidding unrealistically low prices because they hope that they will in the end receive the higher remuneration that other, more realistically calculating participants, proposed. If the government wanted a fairly priced PV development and good quality installations, the pay-as-bid auction model would be favourable, von Oppen said.
Read the interview in German here.