16 Jan 2015
Kerstine Appunn Ruby Russell

In the media: Offshore wind milestone, charging e-mobility, Vattenfall's coal plans

Business Green

"Germany breezes past 1GW offshore wind milestone"

Germany's renewables industry is celebrating another milestone this week, as an industry-backed report confirmed that the country's offshore wind industry now boasts more than 1GW of capacity, writes James Murray on Business Green. Installed offshore wind capacity feeding into the grid will increase by another 2GW in 2015, according to a report by Deutsche WindGuard.

See the article in English here.


Spiegel Online

“Energiewende: defeat for minister Gabriel concerning solar auctions”

A draft law from Germany’s minister for Energy and Economic Affairs on how payments for photovoltaic installations will be determined in the future, has been changed considerably, Spiegel Online reports. Gabriel wants solar power operators to enter into a competitive bidding process to determine payments for new installations instead of paying renewable producers set feed-in tariffs. But a proposal for pilot auctions, starting this year, has been curbed to 500 megawatt (previously 600 megawatt) and even less in the following two years in a compromise arranged by the cabinet, the Spiegel writes, citing internal information. In return, there will be 200 hectars of arable land permitted to be used for solar parks, instead of not allowing any farming grounds in 2015 as proposed in a previous amandement, the Spiegel said.

The final draft is to be passed by the cabinet on the 28th of January according to Spiegel information.

See the article in German here.



RWE sells RWE Dea for an enterprise value of 5 billion euro

RWE AG and LetterOne Group have agreed to complete the sale of RWE Dea in its entirety by early March 2015, at an enterprise value of ca. 5 billion euro. “The economics are attractive and therefore the Dea disposal remains an essential step towards executing our strategy and improving our financial strength," says Peter Terium, CEO of RWE in a media release.

See the RWE press release here.


The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)

“Power System Impacts of Electric Vehicles in Germany: Charging with Coal or Renewables?”

The German Institute for Economic Research has published a discussion paper looking at the impact of electric vehicles on the power system. The paper concludes that user-driven charging takes place largely during the day, when power demand is already high, while cost-driven charging at night increases the demand for lignite-fueled power. Only with the deployment of additional renewable capacity can electric vehicles become largely CO2-neutral, DIW finds.

See the paper in English here.


The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE)

“BEE shows the way in the new world of mobility”

The BEE has commissioned a study in cooperation with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn and the German Biogas Association looking at the potential for low-carbon mobility in Germany. The study calculates that emissions could be reduced to 50 grams/kilometer by 2025, and by 2030 transport could be run largely on renewable power.

See the press release in German here.



"Coal in demand"

Vattenfall wants to accelerate the sale of its lignite operations, Helmut Steuer writes in today’s edition of the Handelsblatt. The company announced yesterday that it would spin off its lignite division in Germany (power plants and mining) as a separate company, to make it easier to sell. Splitting off German lignite operations will come as part of a wider programme of re-organisation at Vattenfall. That the company will retain its other German operations makes it clear Vattenfall does not want to withdraw from Germany entirely, Steuer says.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Does E.ON face bancrupcy? No, says Claudia Kemfert”

In an opinion piece for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, economist Claudia Kemfert explains why the split of E.ON does not mean that the company - or the two future companies - are in danger of going bankrupt. The coal and gas division of E.ON is debt-free and stilll has good earning potential despite the Energiewende, Kemfert writes, which is why shares of E.ON have not fallen in value. The other part of E.ON is similarly healthy, Kemfert says. Kemfert argues that a state-run fund to manage nuclear provisions put aside by nuclear power plant owners would not be a good idea as it would limit the companies’ responsibility for nuclear decommissioning costs to today’s estimations with additional bills footed by the taxpayer. Instead, the likes of E.ON should remain responsible for saving enough money to pay for all future nuclear waste treatment and disposal - they will be earning a lot of money from fossil operations for a long time to come, Kemfert concludes.



“Interview with Hans-Joachim Reck, German Association of Local Utilities: Supply security in danger"

In an interview with the Handelsblatt, the head of the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU) said public municipal utilities are struggling to cover the costs of running gas and coal power plants and in some cases have already shut down highly efficient fossil fuel facilities, which could put security of supply at risk. Reck also said that his organisation supports the introduction of capacity markets – which energy minister Sigmar Gabriel is sceptical of – and that the costs would not be significant compared to the money spent on renewables.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Turf power? no thanks!

A feature in the FAZ looks at the debate over the German peat industry, which has been called a "climate killer". The extraction and drying of peat is responsible for 12 percent of carbon emissions in the state of Lower Saxony, the article reports.

See the article in German here.

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