Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) / The Times
Merkel: G7 ought to pioneer transition to low-carbon economy
Climate protection is a large global challenge, German Chancellor Angela Merkel writes in an op-ed for several European newspapers, including the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The Times. And it will be one of the main topics at the G7 summit in Germany this weekend. The UN climate conference in Paris for the first time in years brings hope that all nations, including emerging economies, will commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “This would take us closer to our goal of limiting the increase in global temperature to two degrees – which all the experts say is the only way to keep it within reasonable parameters,” Merkel writes. “The G7 ought to be a model for the necessary transition to a low-carbon economy,” Merkel continues, adding that all industrialised nations should stick to their 2009 pledge to provide $100 billion annually for adaptation and mitigation of climate change in developing countries as of 2020.
Read the op-ed in English here.
“Energy politics for the rich”
Germany wants to show the world that a highly industrialised economy can abstain from oil and coal without losing out on wealth and prosperity, writes Andreas Mihm in an op-ed for the FAZ. But the problems within Germany are mounting, he says. The government coalition is fighting over a possible climate levy on old coal power plants and new power lines while modern gas power stations are uncompetitive and it is unclear if large energy utilities will survive the Energiewende, he writes. G7 partners at the summit know this and none of them are following the German example of phasing out nuclear power and coal simultaneously. But why does Germany do this?, Mihm asks. Because it is mostly industrialised countries like Germany who are to blame for climate change and it is this notion of guilt that apparently moves Germans to commit to climate protection much more than other countries. The danger is that other nations will shirk their responsibility.
“Dinner for coal”
Tonight (Wednesday) economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel will meet with trade union representatives to discuss CO2 reduction from the power sector, Alfons Freese reports in Der Tagesspiegel. After the ministry presented the so called climate contribution, which would oblige operators of old coal-fired power stations to pay a levy when emitting more than a set amount of CO2, energy companies, politicians and unions fought the plans hard. Last week trade union IG BCE came up with its own proposal due to be discussed tonight. The union suggests more support for combined heat and power, a capacity reserve with the most polluting power plants and a scrap-bonus scheme for old heating systems. But ministry experts don’t think that these measures will save as much CO2 as envisaged by the trade union, Freese writes.
Read a CLEW factsheet about combined heat and power in Germany here.
IWR – Institute of the renewable energy industry
“Wholesale power price in May at 12-year-low”
The price for base load electricity in Germany and Austria has fallen to an average 2.54 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in May 2015, IWR reports. On the Epex Spot exchange, power prices fell by 14.5 percent compared to April 2015 and were at their lowest level since May 2003 (2.11 ct/kWh). In France and Switzerland, wholesale prices for power dropped even more, from 3.95 ct/kWh in April to 2.65 ct/kWh in May in France and 3.83 ct/kWh to 2.51 ct/kWh in Switzerland. Consumers in Germany have so far not profited from the falling wholesale prices, as only very few power suppliers pass on reduced acquisition costs to their customers, the article says.
Read the article in German here.
Study: Global energy transition has started
First signs of a changing trend in global emissions and an increasing use of renewable energies point towards the beginning of a global Energiewende, environmental group Germanwatch says in a release. “Our analysis shows important signs for a worldwide stagnation of energy related CO2 emissions, for a nearly unprecedented success of renewable energies and a reversal of the expansion of power production from coal in key industrialised and emerging countries,” says Jan Burck, main author of the paper.
Germanwatch’s analysis shows that global energy-related CO2 emissions did not rise at all in 2014 despite a growing global economy. At the same time, renewables are on the rise: 18 countries produce already more than 10 percent of their electricity with wind and solar installations. China built more renewables installations than coal-fired capacity in 2014, the report says, adding that globally only one in three originally planned coal power plants was actually built since 2010.
Read the study in German here.
Competition for Tesla’s battery plans
East German company Solarwatt has presented a battery storage system with a price tag and technological features similar to those by Californian e-car maker Tesla, Michael Fuhs writes in pv magazine.
Bloomberg reports that Panasonic is also mulling an entry into the German market. “We will launch a similar product in Europe in the not-too-distant future,” Paul Reid, managing director of Panasonic’s Australian unit, told Bloomberg’s James Paton in an interview. “Germany would be the next logical step.”
Read the pv magazine article in German here.
Read the Bloomberg story here.