In the media: No get-together on coal; A little less fracking
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Coalition doesn’t get together in coal politics”
A meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel on the additional levy on old coal-fired power stations scheduled for Wednesday evening was cancelled on short notice, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Participants agreed further calculations and details were needed before a decision could be taken, coalition sources told the paper. Until now, Merkel has kept silent about the proposed coal levy. The Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung also reported the head of the German cartel office, Andreas Mundt, said he had doubts about the levy because it was a state intervention aimed at manipulating the market and competition.
Read a CLEW article about the leaked adjustment to the coal levy proposal here.
“A little less fracking”
The government moves a small step towards critics of the planned fracking law by extending areas where the technology is to be banned, reports the taz. A minor change to the text of the bill would mean protection of drinking water resources would be tightened, according to the article. In its current form, the bill bans fracking in areas where “total” rainfall ends up in a drinking water reservoir. Due to resistance in Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, the ban is to be extended to areas where only part of precipitation is used for human consumption, reports Hannes Koch.
Read the article in German here.
“EEG: Green Party demands more support for photovoltaics and less exemptions for industry”
As the 2014 Renewable Energy Act (EEG) is amended again in German parliament, the Green Party parliamentary group demands an additional boost for the development of photovoltaics, PV magazine writes. In a formal request, the group suggests increasing the annual growth corridor for PV from 2.6 to 5 gigawatts and to delete the 52 megawatt limit for all renewable development. Exemptions from the EEG-surcharge on power bills should be restricted to “real power-intensive companies that face international competition” only, the proposition says.
“Offshore wind parks produce less additional costs than nuclear power plants”
Cost overruns produced by offshore wind parks are comparatively small when compard to those of nuclear power stations, writes Florian Diekmann on Spiegel Online, citing a study by the Hertie School of Governance that compared 170 large building projects. The six nuclear power stations the researchers looked at, which were all build last century, on average turned out to be 187 percent more expensive than originally estimated. The eight German offshore wind parks ended up costing 20 percent more than envisaged. The researchers also found offshore wind park developers learned from earlier mistakes as delays and cost overruns fell in more recent projects. Nuclear power projects did not reveal a learning curve, Diekmann writes.
Read the article in German here.
Read a press release and related factsheets on the publication by the Hertie School of Governance in English here.
“Renewables jobs in EU drop, but rise worldwide”
The number of jobs in the EU's renewable energy sector fell by 50,000 (from 1.25 million to 1.2 million) between 2013 and 2014, EurActiv reports, citing the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Renewable Energy Job Review. Worldwide the number of positions in the sector increased by 18 percent to a total of 7.7 million, but in the EU more than a third of jobs in the solar sector were lost, EurActiv writes. 70 percent of all renewable jobs in the EU are located in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Germany remains the European country with the highest renewables employment by far (371,400 jobs in 2013). This is more than double the number in France (176,200), which itself remains far ahead of the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. The EU has set a non-binding target for the bloc’s energy consumption be covered by 27 percent renewables by 2030.
Read the article in English here.
Find the Renewable Energy and Jobs report in English here.
“Energy sector faces radical change”
Nine out of ten energy companies in Europe assume that market conditions will significantly change by 2030, a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey among 70 managers of 52 energy companies worldwide found. 35 percent of European companies believe that their market strategies are not working anymore and will have to be adapted. One example is the rise of distributed generation which is already common in many parts of Germany, the report says, and 22 percent of participants expect that the share of decentralised power generation will rise to more than 30 percent by 2030. “Any business that faced such a large slice of their market being jeopardised would move quickly to change course”, the report says.