In the media: Mediocre score for German climate measures, grid fees rise, solar auction capacity seen curbed

EurActiv

“Global comparison reveals Germany's 'Energiewende dilemma'”

Germany scored average results (place 22 of 61) in the global climate protection index, compiled by the NGO Germanwatch, reports EurActiv. An increase in greenhouse gas emissions from coal power generation “damaged Germany’s climate balance,” one of the authors told EurActiv. However, the government’s recently decided climate action plan could – if rigorously implemented – help Germany to reduce its emissions in the coming years once again.

Denmark, Sweden and the UK ranked highest in the Climate Change Performance Index, making up places four to six, with no country doing enough for climate protection which is why Germanwatch left places one through three vacant. At the bottom of the index are Canada (58), Kazakhstan (59), Australia (60) and Saudi Arabia (61). The U.S. was ranked 44th, India 31st.

See the Germanwatch Climate Change Performance Index in English here.

See the EurActiv article in English here.

 

Study: Agora Energiewende/RAP

"Grid fees in Germany"

Since 2011, the average fee customers pay for using the electricity grid has increased and the difference between what rural consumers and those in northeastern Germany pay compared to those cities and the southwest has widened, a study by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) for the Berlin think-tank Agora Energiewende has found. The discrepancies occur for several reasons: windparks and photovoltaic installations that require grid expansions (which the locals pay for in their electricity bill) are mostly built in rural areas; fewer people live in the countryside, making each person's share of the grid fees larger, while more and more producers of de-centralised power (wind turbines, photovoltaics) who use the power they generate themselves, are excluded from paying the grid fee. To make the system fairer, author Andreas Jahn recommends a reform whereby all consumers in Germany pay the same grid fee and all power generators, including small renewable installations contribute to financing the grid.

Read a related article in  Zeit Online in German here.

See the Agora Energiewende/RAP study in German here.
Agora Energiewende is supported by the same foundations (Stiftung Mercator and European Climate Foundation) as the Clean Energy Wire.

 

Spiegel Online

“Energiewende: government cuts plans for solar-power auctions”

In order to make the transition to a renewable power system more cost efficient, the latest reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) prescribed testing an auction system for new photovoltaics installations – now the German government wants to curb the amount of capacity auctioned before that process has begun, reports Spiegel Online. Instead of 600 megawatts (MW) per solar park, a new set of draft rules obtained by Spiegel Online states that the amount will be limited to 500 MW in 2015 and 400 MW in 2016. Installations will not be permitted on arable land in 2015, another change from the original government plans. Solar power proponents were highly dismayed by the news, writes Spiegel Online, adding that the solar power sector is struggling with the lowest growth in installations in years.

See the article in German here.

 

Tagesspiegel

“No reason for higher building prices”

The Tagesspiegel reports that there is no connection between rising costs for building and implementing energy efficiency measures, citing a study by German think tank Ecofys and the architecture office Darup & Kollegen and sponsored by the German Corporate Initiative for Energy Efficiency (Deneff). Looking at costs for the outside walls of a residential duplex, including the insulation, roof, windows and heat pumps over 24 years, the study shows that laws mandating energy savings in 1995, 2002 and 2005 had no influence on the price.

Read the article in German here.

 

Deutsche Welle

“German chemicals industry grows slowly”

The German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI) President Marijn Dekkers wants energy policy reform to cut costs of the Energiewende for the branch, saying that only around 140 out of 2,000 companies are currently relieved from paying for the switch to clean energy, according to an article on Deutsche Welle online. In 2014, the industry paid around a billion euros in levies, according to the article, which also reports annual growth numbers for the industry – a record high in sales for the fifth year in a row amid moderate growth in sales of around 1.5% for 2014 and 2015.

Read the article in German here.

 

Kölner Stadtanzeiger

“E.ON is not an example for RWE”

German utility RWE already decided against a company split like the one rival E.ON announced last week, two years ago, Matthias Hartung, RWE chairman said at a social function near Cologne, the Kölner Stadtanzeiger’s Manfred Funken reports. RWE plans remain in the lignite business beyond 2030, since it is an important guarantor of  stable and affordable electricity, Hartung also said. He renewed his call for a capacity market that would pay conventional power stations be on reserve for times when the power supply cannot be upheld by renewable sources alone.

See the article in German here.

 

Reuters

“Vattenfall says to stay active in Germany despite lignite sale”

Even though it will sell its lignite power plants in Germany, Swedish utility Vattenfall’s Chief executive tells Reuters that Germany “will remain the most important market for Vattenfall.” He said that upcoming elections will not change the decision to sell its lignite operations, which make up around 10% of Germany’s power production, and that it remains committed to other businesses like heat production, trading and wind power, Reuters says.

See the article in English here.

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