In the media: Legal doubts about the coal reserve
Federal Network Agency / German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE)
33 successful bids in second PV auction round
Germany’s second-ever photovoltaic tendering round has resulted in 33 successful bids, granting support for 159.7 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity, the Federal Network Agency announced on Thursday. The tender was more than 3 times oversubscribed with 136 bids for 558 MW capacity. Peter Franke, vice-president of the Federal Network Agency, rated this as a sign for “real competition,” saying the high participation was a good sign for the Energiewende. “The second round has also shown that PV facility operators perceived as less professional, can provide power at competitive prices and win tenders,” Franke said. Large project developers were however the most successful, the agency statement said. The unit price for the successful bids will be announced in September.
The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) criticised the volume of the pilot tenders as too low. Germany would miss the EU target of 18 percent renewables in final energy consumption by 2020 if the PV volumes tendered weren’t increased. The government was trying to achieve too many contradicting things at the same time: a large variety of actors, the renewable development target, and keeping costs stable.
Read an analysis of the second round of tenders on Renewables International in English here.
“Parliament lawyers have doubts about Gabriel’s climate package”
The capacity reserve for old lignite-fired power stations that economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel proposed as a compromise for reducing emissions from the power sector could run into difficulties with the European Commission, experts at the Bundestag (parliament) have found. The lawyers worry that the paid for coal reserve of 2.7 gigawatts or around five large power plants, is state aid, which under EU rules is subject to approval from Brussels, Reuters reports. Since the government itself doesn’t see any real need for the reserve – apart for climate action reasons – it could be difficult to justify the measure, the article says. The ministry said the state aid test was a normal procedure and had often been passed successfully. The opposition said the subsidy concerns showed again that the lignite reserve, which will cost power consumers 230 million euros per year, is “economically, and from an energy policy point of view, madness.”
“Blacked out German grid”
In a blog-post on energytransition.de Craig Morris explains the different visions of proponents and opponents of new power lines. While proponents call for grid extension to connect places with the best conditions for producing a lot of renewable power to the rest of the country, those opposing new transmission lines are advocating a decentralised energy transition, where every area generates its own power. These power line opponents are not driven by NIMBYism, writes Morris, and they rightly demand better insight into the underlying reasons for the grid expansion.
Read the blog in English here.
Read a CLEW dossier on the grid expansion in Germany here.
“We can’t do it without electric cars”
Electric cars are going to get more and more climate friendly, said Udo Lambrecht, head of the department for transport and environment at the Ifeu in Heidelberg in an interview with the Frankfurter Rundschau. As the share of renewables in the power mix increases to 40 percent in the next 10 years, driving with electricity will emit less CO2 than fossil fuelled cars and decrease emissions in traffic. E-cars needed immediate incentives, including financial benefits, to give them a long-term perspective, Lambrecht said.
Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
“Activists to halt diggers at RWE coalfields in Germany”
Anti-coal activists will gather this weekend (14-16 August) at opencast lignite mines in North-Rhine Westphalia, RTCC reports. The organisers from 350.org and other environment organisations expect 1000 activists from various European countries to join them in the protest named “Ende Gelände” (here and no further) which will aim to bring a 220m-long mine digger to a halt.
IDW / Uni Kassel
“Almost four out of five Germans say climate change is already happening”
78 percent of Germans are convinced that climate change is already occurring, a study by the University of Kassel found. Only 6 percent of Germans are climate sceptics, said Andreas Ziegler, Professor of Empirical Economy Research. In the US, only 69 percent of participants were convinced of climate change and every tenth of them denied that climate change was caused by humans. In China, 89 percent of participants perceived climate change to already be happening . In Germany and China, a majority of participants said they were prepared to pay for climate action – either through public funding (Germany) or by buying climate-friendly products (China). Ziegler interviewed 1010 people in Germany, 1005 in the US and 1430 in China.
See the press release in German here.
Read the study in English here.