In the media: Germany spent billions on exports of coal technology

Reuters

“Study – Germany spends billions on export of coal technology”

Germany and France are the EU’s biggest sponsors of the export of coal technology, according to a confidential OECD study cited by Reuters. From 2003 to 2013, Germany’s financial support for the construction of coal-fired power plants abroad amounted to 1 billion dollars. France approved credits of 1.8 billion dollars, world leader South Korea 4 billion dollars. In Germany, industry conglomerate Siemens makes coal plant technology. Among OECD countries, Germany was the largest provider of export credits for coal-mining technology.

See the story in German here.

Read the story with a broader focus on OECD countries in English here.

 

Frankfurter Rundschau

“Controversial ecological energy”

Green energy suppliers like Naturstrom and Greenpeace Energy have presented a new market model for renewable energy (Grünstrom-Marktmodell or GMM). Currently, suppliers that guarantee delivery of a certain amount of renewable power have to buy it from abroad, for example from Austrian hydropower producers, Frank-Thomas Wenzel explains in the Frankfurter Rundschau. This is because all power bought at the electricity exchange is “grey” - a mixture of all available power, from coal and nuclear power plants as well as renewable sources. The GMM wants to change this by enabling power suppliers to buy green power directly from operators of wind or solar parks. Renewable power producers would be paid directly, instead of being compensated via the renewable energy surcharge. The German government has not commented on the concept yet, Wenzel writes. But the Association of Local Utilities (VKU) warns that the power market could become lob-sided if suppliers buy the cheapest power available from the most modern renewable power generators while more expensive renewable power continues to be sold at the electricity exchange, increasing the burden on power consumers who pay the surcharge.

See the story in German here.

See the GMM website in German here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Bavarian village votes against wind turbines

A Bavarian town has voted against the construction of local wind turbines, putting the brakes on its county’s ambitious plans to become independent of fossil fuels within 20 years, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. In a referendum, around 54 percent of voters said “No” to the construction of three turbines close to a motorway in Inning, a town of 4,000, 35 kilometres west of Munich. The article’s authors blame the outcome of the vote on the lack of strong voices arguing in favor of the project. Opponents meanwhile, fought vigorously against the construction, arguing that the project was uneconomical, would lead to friction with neighboring towns, and endanger rare birds breeding in the area. The county, where the broader Energiewende and the Green Party enjoy strong support, currently covers seven percent of its power needs with local renewable sources and wants to increase that share to 100 percent by 2035.

Read the story in German here.

See a CLEW interview about local resistance against renewable projects here.

 

Bayerischer Rundfunk

“Mini wind turbines: visions of a creative mind“

A new type of wind turbine invented by electrician Robert Penn could resolve many of the problems that citizens have with wind power, Angela Neulinger writes on the Bayerischer Rundfunk website. Penn’s turbine towers, which could also be installed on flat roofs, have vertical rotor blades that don't pose a danger to bats or birds, are silent, and do not cast a flickering shadow. The invention could salvage the Bavarian energy transition, Neulinger says, since new regulations on the minimum distance between larger wind turbines and homes have drastically reduced the possible locations for their construction. Even though Penn has a patent for his invention and a study has proven its functionality, he has yet to  find investment to scale up the design.

See  the article in German (with pictures of the wind tower) here.

 

dpa-AFX

“Minister Gabriel: Power line to Norway is important for the Energiewende”

Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy called the new NordLink power grid connection between northern Germany and Norway “another important step for greater security of supply for Germany, but also for Norway” and an important stage in the Energiewende, dpa-AFX reports. German transmission grid operator TenneT, its Norwegian counterpart Statnett and the state-owned German KfW bank are due to sign off on the final investment for NordLink today. NordLink will be a 623-km long direct-current submarine cable with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts, connecting Wilster in Schleswig-Holstein and Tonstad in Norway. It will transport wind power from northern Germany to Norwegian pumped hydropower stations that can then provide power to Germany when generation from wind drops. The connection is to be completed in 2020.

See CLEW's Factsheet on the German power grid here.

 

Power Engineering International

“German regulator mulls extension of back-up power scheme”

The head of the German Federal Network Agency said a back-up of reserve power capacity will continue to be needed because Germany is behind on grid expansion, Diarmaid Williams writes in a report for PennEnergy. Plans to build new power lines to bring renewable electricity from north of the country to the south would have meant the 2,500 megawatts kept on standby by the regulator would not have been needed after 2017, Williams writes, but the ongoing public consultation, planning and construction will take years.

See the article in English here.

See CLEW’s Dossier on grid expansion here.

 

Renewables International

“German wholesale prices continue to plummet”

Writing for Renewables International, Craig Morris says German wholesale power prices in January were down by a fifth year-on-year, according to EPEX. January was a record month for wind power production, the article says, but this also resulted in 13 million euros in re-dispatching costs to prevent the grid being overloaded, which are passed on to consumers via the grid fee. For two days in December, reserves of fossil power capacity kept on standby by the Federal Network Agency were used for the first time since 2013, Morris writes.

See the article in English here.

See the EPEX press release here.

See CLEW’s Factsheet on consumer power prices here.

 

Bloomberg Business

“Europe Wind Power Booms on German Demand as 2015 Set for Record”

According to figures from the European Wind Energy Association, 45 percent of the new wind power capacity installed in Europe last year was in Germany, Bloomberg reports. European wind capacity expanded by 11.8 gigawatts and accounted for 43.7 percent of all new capacity, the article says.

See the article in English here.

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