"Gabriel’s quiet reserve"
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is set to present a plan targeting emissions from the power sector that could allow Germany to achieve its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goals, writes Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. A proposal by Gabriel’s ministry suggests allowing utilities to decide which plants to shut down – with a law stipulating the whole fleet of power plants emit 22 million fewer tonnes CO2 in 2020. The minister had repeatedly warned that a simultaneous phase-out of nuclear power and coal would endanger the energy supply and jobs. Now his plan involves retiring several power stations but it also names the option of transferring coal plants into a “quiet reserve” that will provide electricity in times when renewable energies cannot ensure supply, Bauchmüller writes. This way the structural change in the coal sector will be more “socially acceptable,” he quotes the ministry paper as saying. Opposition politician Bärbel Höhn (Green Party) criticised that 22 million tons less CO2 was not enough, he says.
Read the article in German here.
"Climate protection: Gabriel chooses force"
The energy concept of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy will lead to the retirement of eight old coal-fired power stations, writes the Tagesspiegel. For this, the big power suppliers want considerable compensation, the paper says it has heard from within the sector. The targeted CO2 emissions are to be distributed evenly for all power stations with utilities deciding themselves if they want to shut down entire facilities or cut the workload of plants in use.
Reuters also reports on the plans.
"Gabriel wants to take on coal"
Sigmar Gabriel’s proposal that coal-fired power stations cut CO2 emissions by 22 million tonnes is similar to an idea the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) published last week, says Bernward Janzig in the taz. The economists had calculated that a phase-out of nine gigawatts of lignite and hard coal capacity could prevent the emission of 23 million tonnes of CO2. On 3 December, the German cabinet will decide on a plan to meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The government is under pressure to perform as the UN climate conference starts at the same time in Peru, the paper said.
See the article in German here.
"German Grid Regulator: Around 345,000 households had power switched off"
Around 345,000 households had their electricity turned off in 2013, 23,000 more than in 2012 and 33,0000 more than in 2011, according to an unpublished report by the German Grid Regulator, Spiegel Online reports. Most of these were because people had not paid their bills, the magazine said. Threats to shut off power also rose to around 7 million, up from around 6 million in 2011, it said. Separately, Die Welt newspaper blamed the rise on higher prices, citing taxes and other levies which it said currently make up 52% of the consumer price.
Read the Spiegel Online article in German here.
Read the Welt article in German here.
"Biogas farmers feel left out"
The Association of German Farmers would like a greater focus on bioenergy as a way of reaching climate targets, according to a dpa article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The head of the association, Bernhard Krüsken, noted that using bioenergy to produce electricity, heating and fuel would avoid 66 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, around the annual output of the agriculture industry. Krüsken made the statements as Germany debates how to catch up on its CO2 reduction goals, having strayed from its climate target of a 20% cut by 2020 over 1999.
See the article in German here.