20 Mar 2015 | Kerstine Appunn, Sven Egenter

In the media: Looming battle over coal

Handelsblatt / Die Welt

“Federal government disappoints power station operators”

Operators of fossil-fuelled power stations should only receive very limited funds for keeping power capacities on stand-by, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has suggested in a policy paper, the Handelsblatt reports. Instead of introducing a capacity market – which utilities would have preferred – the ministry wants to secure supply by reforming the existing energy only market (EOM), the article says. The EOM would work if investors could rely on politicians to never intervene in price formation on the wholesale electricity market – something the government could guarantee in the energy economy law, according to the ministry proposal. Keeping the possibility of a capacity market open for a later point in time would not be "compatible" with an EOM, the newspaper Die Welt quotes the paper as saying. The government is only planning an emergency capacity reserve, the newspaper writes.

See the Handelsblatt article in German here and Die Welt article in German here.

See a CLEW article on the government plans for coal power in Germany here.

See the leaked government paper in German here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

"Into battle!"

Energy minister Sigmar Gabriel’s new proposals to curb emissions point in the right direction, as coal-fired power plants have continued to produce carbon emissions almost unabatedly despite the Energiewende, Michael Bauchmüller writes in an opinion piece for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Correctly implemented, the plans could rectify this, he says. Gabriel's proposals, geared for parliamentary vote by summer, set specific caps for power plants and make old coal plants uneconomical. However, utilities, the lignite-producing federal states governed by the SPD and dismayed CDU politicians remain a stumbling block for the plans, he said. "If Gabriel is serious with the beginning of the exit, he can expect a big battle," Bauchmüller writes. 

The paper also has a front-page article about the plans with the headline: "Gabriel ushers in the exit from coal power”.

Read the article here.

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