In the media: Germany's silicon valley of renewables, onshore wind power record
Minister sees Bavaria as showcase for the Energiewende
Bavarian economy minister Ilse Aigner says that far from blocking the energy transition, her state is a driver of the transition to a low-carbon economy. Aigner told the Frankfurter Rundschau that one third of Bavaria’s power consumption was covered by renewable sources. Tarek Al-Wazir, vice premier and economy minister for Hesse, had accused Bavaria’s state premier of torpedoing the Energiewende by blocking new grid connections and curbing wind power development. Aigner said the Energiewende was more likely to fail as a result of required conventional power generation being unable to turn a profit – a problem federal energy minister Sigmar Gabriel will have to solve, Pitt von Bebenburg writes.
See a CLEW dossier on grid expansion and Bavaria’s role here.
German Wind Energy Association
“Record onshore wind power development of 4,750 megawatts in 2014”
The German wind power sector installed 4,750 megawatts (MW) of onshore capacity in 2014, up from 2,998 MW the year before, according to a press release from the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and the German Engineering Association (VDMA). This was only possible because state governments allocated new areas for wind parks in 2011, BWE President Hermann Albers said. Of the capacity added in 2014, 1,000 MW was the result of repowering – the replacement of older wind turbines with new, more powerful models. The VDMA reported that German wind energy development was on a par with that of the US and equivalent to a quarter of the Chinese market. The BWE predicts wind capacity growth of 3,500 to 4,000 MW in Germany this year.
See the press release in English here.
Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung
“IG BCE wants a ‘breather’ from the Energiewende”
Trade union IG BCE, which represents workers in the energy sector, has commissioned a survey from research institute TNS showing that support for the energy transition dropped from 68 percent to 57 between 2013 and 2014. For energy-intensive businesses, the figure is 26 percent, down from 39 percent in 2012. IC BCE’s chairman Michael Vassiliadis told the HAZ, “We urgently need a breather from the Energiewende.” He added that declining support for the energy transition was down to dissatisfaction over its political implementation and that rather than ramping up renewable generation, the transition should focus on developing storage and the grid to better handle a more diverse energy mix.
Read more about trade unions and the Energiewende here.
Hamburger Abendblatt Online
“In search of tomorrow’s electricity”
In a feature for the Hamburger Abendblatt, Olaf Preuß reports on the new Competence Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CC4E) at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, which aims to develop technological solutions for a decentralised and renewable-focused energy supply, such as storage and better integration of renewable power. By 2016, CC4E plans to build a windpark with four turbines by that will provide power for around 15,000 local households and supply data for research. Preuß writes that Hamburg aims to become a centre for research and business in the renewables sector – in CC4E director Werner Beba’s words, “a silicon valley for renewable energy.” The new CC4E centre was built with funds from the city of Hamburg (3.9 million euros) and the European Regional Development Fund (3.6 million euros).
See the article in German here.
Federal Network Agency
New rules for marketing renewable power
The Bundesnetzagentur reports that a new regulation on how renewable energy is marketed at the electricity exchange will come into effect on 1 February 2015. When not marketed by the power producer, renewable power is sold by grid operators on the day-ahead market for full hours. The new rules allow grid operators to sell power on a 15-minute basis. With the marketing of renewable power becoming increasingly flexible, sales are expected to improve, reducing the EEG surcharge that consumers pay to make up the difference between the price of power at the exchange and the feed-in tariffs guaranteed to renewable power producers.
See the press release in German here.
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
New web portal on power grid research
A new government-funded website brings together basic information on how the electricity grid works with information on research projects concerning new power network technology and planning in Germany.
Access the Stromnetze website in German here.