“Greetings from the Stone Age”
The new Moorburg coal-fired power plant in Hamburg cost 3 billion euros and took eleven years to build, and in addition to millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, it is generating significant political fallout, says Jan Heidtmann in an editorial for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Among the losers are the local conservatives (CDU), which appear to have forgotten all about the Energiewende while planning the project; the Green Party, which as junior coalition partner had to approve the plant; and operator Vattenfall, which wants to get rid of it as soon as possible, he says. "On the other hand, environmentalists can triumph in the fact that an energy monster such as this will never again be approved in Germany", Heidtmann writes.
“Conergy returns to profit and seeks listing”
Hamburg-based Conergy, which was one of Europe’s largest solar power companies before it filed for insolvency two years ago, has returned to profit and is preparing for an initial public offering, the Financial Times reports. Conergy, now majority-owned by US private equity group Kawa, is aiming for a value of around 2 - 3 billion dollars, according to the report. “Conergy is really well positioned to go public in the next 12 to 24 months. The market wants an alternative to SunEdison and we’re that alternative,” CEO Andrew de Pass told the paper. SunEdison is the world’s largest developer of solar and wind power.
“The ministries’ trick calculations”
The German ministries for finance and economics are pushing to include land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the EU’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030, according to a report in the tageszeitung, based on internal emails and memos leaked to the paper. This would effectively water down the target to 37.5 percent, according to the report. In contrast, the environment ministry warns against such a move, arguing that it would undermine the EU’s credibility ahead of the Paris climate summit in December, especially with heavily forested developing countries such as Brazil and Indonesia.
See the article in German here.
“Civic participation in the Energiewende: What Germany can learn from Denmark”
In a blog post on energytransition.de, Boris Gotchev says that Denmark's experience with civil society involvement in renewable development can serve as a blueprint for Germany’s citizen energy cooperatives. Recent changes to the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) - such as direct marketing and market premium provisions - have raised concerns from the renewable industry and energy cooperatives that the momentum for citizen-led renewable initiatives might be halted. Yet a similar situation in Denmark was overcome by adjusting the regulatory framework, and by cooperatives joining forces with each other and with municipalities and energy companies, Gotchev writes.
See the article in English here.
“More market instead of more costs”
Introducing a capacity market could easily cause power prices to rise, writes Marijn Dekkers, CEO of Bayer and President of the German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI) in an opinion piece for the Handelsblatt. This would put an extra burden on the chemicals industry in Germany, which is already suffering from high electricity costs, Dekkers says. The German government is right when it rejects the implementation of a capacity market, he writes, and suggests energy intensive companies like the chemicals industry could contribute to the stability of the European power system by running facilities in a more flexible way.