In the media: Lignite, nuclear waste, hard times for biogas and falling electricity prices
“State premier Kraft fights for lignite”
North Rhine-Westphalia’s state premier Hannelore Kraft (Social Democrats) advocates the preservation of coal power in her state, since a simultaneous phase-out of nuclear and coal power would not be viable, she told the Handelsblatt. “We will see to the protection of the interests of our state and our businesses,” Kraft said. Her position is at odds with that of environment minister Barbara Hendricks, who has repeatedly demanded old coal-fired power stations to be retired so that Germany can meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, the paper says.
See the article in German here.
“Gabriel is turning a blind eye on climate protection”
In an interview with the Aachener Zeitung, Simone Peter, head of the Green party, accused economy minister Sigmar Gabriel of abandoning Germany’s climate protection targets. He acts “in favour of the coal lobby and at the expense of future generations,” Peters told the paper. She hopes that “climate chancellor” Angela Merkel will put her foot down and initiate a gradual phase-out of coal power.
"Vattenfall will sell lignite operations in Germany"
Albrecht Gerber, Minister for Economic Affairs of the State of Brandenburg, assumes that Swedish utility Vattenfall will pull out of its lignite operations in the region of Lusatia, he told RBB Inforadio. He anticipates that Vattenfall’s lignite business will sell within the coming 6-9 months – a process the state has no influence over. This does not infer the end of lignite mining and power generation in Brandenburg, Gerber added.
Wirtschafts Woche / dpa
“Government anticipates double the amount of nuclear waste”
Germany will have to dispose of much more nuclear waste in the coming decades than previously expected.The country must find a permanent storage facility for some 600,000 cubic metres of nuclear waste, rather than the predicted 298,000 cubic metres, Wirtschafts Woche and other media report after a draft of a “national disposal plan” was published.
See the article in German here.
Dow Jones Newswires German
“Only 41 megawatts of growth: bad atmosphere in the biogas sector”
No more than 94 new biogas plants (amounting to 41 megawatts capacity) will be installed this year, reckons the German biogas association (Fachverband Biogas), marking an abrupt end to Germany's biogas boom. The lobby group predicts that additional installation in 2015 will amout to just 8 megawatts – compared to 600 megawatts three years ago, Dow Jones Newswires writes. The biogas association blames the new Renewable Energy Law (EEG) which came into effect in August 2014 for damaging conditions for biogas. This despite more than 1 gigawatt of biogas capacity being registered as flexible power by July 2014 – meaning the industry is doing its bit for the Energiewende – the president of the Fachverband Biogas says in the article.
“Power bills for 12 million German households to fall from January”
Reuters and other media report that 12 million German households will see lower electricity bills next year. The internet portal Check24 reported that 115 energy companies are reducing their power prices by an average of 2.4 percent in response to lower wholesale power prices and a cut in the surcharge for renewable power development.
See the Reuters article in English here.
See the Clean Energy Wire’s report here.
“What’s The Truth About Germany’s GHG Emissions?”
Writing for Cleantechnica, Roy L Hales says that despite Germany’s GHG emissions rising for three years running – sparking international headlines last year suggesting the energy transition was failing – the country’s emissions in 2013 were 23 percent lower than in 1990. In comparison, US emissions rose by 5 percent over the same period, with the country pledging a reduction of 26 percent by 2030. Globally, GHG emissions are 63 percent higher than in 1990.
See the article in English here.