10 Dec 2014 | Kerstine Appunn

In the media: Hopes for South Stream, trade union on nuclear and coal, the Energy Union

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung/dpa

“Economy minister Gabriel has still hopes for gas pipeline South Stream”

“It would be better for Europe if the project still had a chance,” Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel said of South Stream, following a meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels, the dpa reports. Russia announced the end of the pipeline project through southeast Europe last week, claiming that Bulgaria and the EU were obstructing construction. This would not have consequences for Germany, Gabriel said. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes Gabriel as saying, "We are well connected." But the minister added that he still hoped for talks to restart when the situation between Russia, Ukraine and the EU had stabilised.

See the dpa report in German here.

 

Reuters/Hannoversche Allgemeine

“Trade union IG BCE expects companies to copy E.ON”

Michael Vassiliadis, head of the industry trade union IG BCE assumes that more utilities will follow E.ON's example, Reuters reports, after the utility announced last week that it is to spin off its conventional power generating operations. Vassiliadis warned against a hasty phase-out of nuclear and lignite power. Substituting lignite with natural gas would risk a “price shock” that neither industry nor households could cope with, writes the newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine. On the subject of nuclear waste disposal, the IG BCE backs the creation of a fund consolidating the financial provisions made by nuclear power plant owners so far.

 

Spiegel Online

"UN climate summit in Peru: Minister Müller criticises the U.S. and China"

Spiegel Online reports from the United Nations climate conference in Lima, Peru, where Germany’s minister for development, Gerd Müller, criticised the climate protection targets of China and the United States as insufficient. “I don’t see Obama’s announcements as ambitious,” Müller said, adding that he hoped the American president would use his time in office to further reduce CO2 emissions. He also criticised China, which doesn’t want to curb emissions until 2030. Müller’s views differ from official comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has welcomed the two countries' climate protection announcements.

See the article in German here.

 

EurActiv

“Barriers to infrastructure investment blocking Energy Union”

An article on EurActiv looks at a report by the EU Task Force on Investment, saying that “National regulation, budget constraints, consumer unwillingness to pay increased prices, or accept certain infrastructure projects, and a lack of finance” could endanger investment in new cross-border grid connections, which are seen as vital to reducing the EU's dependence on Russian gas. Nearly 119 billion euros are needed to implement the 248 energy transmission projects necessary by 2020, the report says. Renewable energy development has faced similar problems to the energy union, EurActiv writes, with traditional utilities and institutional investors reluctant to get involved in what they perceive as high-risk projects. “Member states and the private sector are expected to invest €48 billion annually to meet 2020 renewable targets,” the article says.

See the EU Task Force report here.  

See the EurActiv article in English here.

 

IKZ Energy

"How German households could save the Energiewende"

IKZ Energy reports that German households could contribute to stabilising power supply by converting domestic hot water tanks to store green energy.  Referring to research by the Fraunhofer IBP, the article says that one of the biggest problems facing the Energiewende is fluctuating supply from renewables, which causes oversupply at times of peak production. With 78 percent of Germans ready to play a greater role in the energy transition – according to a 2014 survey be Stiebel Electron – German households could provide 21 TWh of storage capacity.

See the article in German here.

 

SolarServer

 "Energy storage market considered as uptrend, especially in Germany"

The International Battery and Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA) and EuPD Research IBESA have created the IBESA Storage Business Climate Index, surveying firms in the storage industry about current business situation and expectations for the next six months. An article about the index on SolarServer says the biggest market is in Germany, where nearly 15,000 storage systems are currently installed and a continuing uptrend is expected for 2015.

See the article in German here.

 

FDP

“Decision for a sustainable energy policy”

Germany’s liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) has set out its policies on sustainable energy. In an announcent on its website, the party says the Renewable Energy Law should be abolished since it has been responsible for the “subsidised development of renewable energies and led to rising prices and falling security of supply.” The party supports a European energy market. The FDP is currently not represented in federal parliament.

See the FDP party decision paper in German here.

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