In the media: Renewables superlatives, EU policy, heating and e-cars
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
"A year full of superlatives for ecologic power"
German consumers paid almost 23 billion euros for renewable electricity in 2014, the FAZ writes, citing figures released by the transparency platform of the German grid operators. Wholesale prices for power at the electricity exchange fell to a record low of an average 33 euro per megawatt-hour. This caused earnings of conventional power stations to drop while renewable producers who receive a guaranteed price per kilowatt-hour of electricity they feed into the grid, were paid a record 21.5 billion euros last year, author Andreas Mihm explains. The difference between low wholesale prices and the higher guaranteed feed-in tariffs for renewables is paid by consumers through the so-called EEG surcharge which raised 23 billion euros. This includes a 2.86 billion euro surplus, the FAZ writes, which explains the high EEG surcharge last year and provides a cushion for 2015 when the surcharge is set to fall.
Find the figures from the Netztransparenz.de platform in German here.
See the FAZ article in German here.
"Berlin demands ‘robust’ governance rules for energy policy"
Dpa reports on an internal position paper in which the German government calls for robust implementation of the EU’s energy policy. The paper is a response to a paper by European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic in December, which began to put forward proposals for how energy policy in individual member states might be better coordinated with a view to implementing an EU-wide energy union, dpa reports. The German paper calls for reform of the European emissions trading scheme to be brought forward, and praises the EU’s 2030 climate framework agreed by member states last year, but does not demand that climate targets are imposed on individual member states.
“Heat from the neighbourhood”
Süddeutsche Zeitung reports on the growing trend for newly built residential districts across Germany to draw their heat from small, locally installed networks, generally powered by combined heat and power (CHP) plants. The article says this is not only a greener option because such facilities have lower CO2 emissions, they are also attractive for residents who buy their heat on fixed contracts and do not have to take responsibility for the storage and maintenance of a boiler in their own home.
“German government standardises e-car charging stations”
The government in Berlin is preparing legislation aimed at increasing the installation of e-car charging stations by setting a common standard for all chargers, writes Klaus Stratmann for the Handelsblatt. The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is basing the new regulations on standards agreed by European car manufacturers. The government wants to establish 7,000 fast-charge stations and 28,000 normal charging points by 2020, mostly along motorways and in metropolitan areas, the article says. There are currently 4,800 normal and 100 fast charging stations but different manufacturers use different technology meaning that not all charging devices are compatible with all e-cars.
See the article in German here.
“EEG 2014 has thwarted the Energiewende”
The Windkraft-Journal published a press-release from Eurosolar, the European Association for Renewable Energy, saying that Germany's new Renewable Energy Act, which came into effect in August 2014, has caused a dramatic setback in the development of solar power and bio-energy. The fall in new photovoltaics installations from 7.6 gigawatt peak (GWp) in 2012 to 3.3 GWp in 2013 and 1.9 GWp in 2014 meant that several solar tech companies are facing bankruptcy, the statement reads. Eurosolar opposes the new system of tenders for determining renewable payments and the “breathing cap” that lowers payments when too much renewable capacity is added.
See the statement in German here.