In the media: Pressure on energy minister from all sides in coal levy debate
Resistance among Christian Democrats against power market law
Four senior members of Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) have send a letter to all members of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group, commenting on energy minister Sigmar Gabriel’s (SPD) proposals for a power market reform. The letter, seen by the Clean Energy Wire and reported widely in German media, says that the Gabriel’s suggestions for an advanced energy-only-market are going in the right direction but criticises in particular the CO2 reduction instrument as a “massive burden on industry”, which could endanger tens of thousands well paid jobs and lead to companies moving production abroad. The authors press for quick reform of the combined-heat-and-power law and say that energy security will require a “balanced mix of natural gas, hard coal and brown coal as power sources”.
Spiegel Online called the letter an “unfriendly act” towards Gabriel, since this kind of challenge normally originates from the parliamentary opposition and not from the coalition partner.
Read the Spiegel article in German here.
“Economists and energy scientists back up Minister Gabriel”
50 researchers from various German institutes (among them DIW, Wuppertal Institut, Green Budget Germany (FÖS), Ecologic Institute, Fraunhofer ISE) have published a declaration supporting Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s proposal for a climate levy to reduce emissions from old coal-fired power stations. They urge him to implement the instrument despite criticism from energy companies and trade unions. Germany needed the climate levy if it didn’t want to fail achieving the CO2 reduction target for 2020, the economists and energy researchers write. It was also the least invasive measure that would not force power station operators to shut down plants and it would gently introduce the necessary structural change towards a renewable energy supply.
Read the declaration in German here.
Free parking for car sharers
Germany could introduce a new street sign that identifies free-of-charge parking for car sharing vehicles, Germany's largest tabloid Bild reports. The new signs could be set up in 500 German cities by 2016, according to a law proposal on car sharing by Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, Bild writes.
Read the article in German here.
Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
“Diesel from CO2 – Getting petrol for climate protection”
Research project “SunFire” in Dresden produces synthetic fuel from water and CO2. The power-to-liquid project receives 6.4 million euros in funding through the Ministry for Education and Research and is part of the framework programme “Research for Sustainable Development” (FONA). The efficiency factor of Sunfire’s mineral oil (“Blue Crude”) produced with power from wind and solar installations, is 70 percent.
Renewables International / Phasenprüfer
“German electricity exports still more valuable than imports”
In this blog post, Craig Morris analyses recent power trading figures and explains the misconceptions around physical power flows, power trading and the prevention of blackouts.
At Phasenprüfer, Jakob Schlandt provides also an analysis of the new record in power exports from Germany.
Read the Renewables International post in English here.
See the blog post on Phasenprüfer in German here.
BMWi / Bundesnetzagentur
“First round of tenders for photovoltaic parks successfully completed”
The first round of tenders for ground mounted solar arrays was completed on 15 April, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy together with the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) said. 170 bids were made for the 150 megawatt photovoltaic capacity auctioned. Bids with the lowest support costs will be awarded the contracts. The results will be published in due course. The next round of tenders will start on 1 August 2015. Germany changed the support system for large photovoltaic installations in August 2014, from feed-in tariffs determined by the administration to the new auction system.
Read the press release in German here.