In the media: RWE fights for lignite and frightens local utilities

RWE

“Poll – Lignite is essential stabiliser for energy supply”

Two thirds of Germans believe electricity prices have a large influence on the competitiveness of German industry, according to a survey by pollster Forsa commissioned by struggling utility RWE. “Therefore, 63 percent believe it is wrong to phase out coal plants after the nuclear exit. They fear security and reliability of supply might be in danger,” according to an RWE press release. RWE Power, a business unit focused on conventional electricity generation, also said at its annual press conference that the agreement with the government to mothball old, coal-fired plants for use when renewable power is in short supply means RWE will have to shed highly qualified jobs. In the first quarter, profit at RWE Power fell almost a quarter to 428 million euros, according to the press release. The company said results will significantly worsen in the future due to low electricity prices.

Read the press release in German here.

Find a CLEW factsheet about polls on the Energiewende here.

Find factsheets on recent government decisions and proposals on energy policy here and here.

Read a CLEW dossier on the utility’s fight for survival here.

 

Neues Deutschland

“Towns and municipalities tremble with fear”

RWE head Peter Terium wants to restructure the company and many shareholding municipalities fear this will lead to job losses, as well as reduce business tax intake and dividend payments, reports Neues Deutschland. Municipalities in the Ruhr area in western Germany own around a quarter of RWE shares and cities like Dortmund, Essen, Bochum and Mülheim rely on RWE dividend payments for their budgets. The communal association of RWE shareholders said RWE must explain the strategy behind the reorganisation, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on municipal utilities here.

 

Rheinische Post

“Municipal utilities face millions of euros in losses”

Several municipal utilities in North Rhine-Westphalia are concerned about losing millions of euros in investments in a coal power station project by large energy company RWE, the Rheinische Post reports. The shares that 23 local utilities (Stadtwerke) bought in RWE’s coal power project “Gekko” in Hamm could be all but worthless as RWE offered to buy them back for one euro each, the article says. Gekko has been delayed by building flaws. As the wholesale power price has decreased since the local utilities signed up for the project, their hopes to receive inexpensive power from the Hamm plant have been dashed. Some Stadtwerke have made reserve funds to cope with the loss of investment and are promising not to raise prices for their customers.

 

DIHK / BNE

“DIHK and BNE demand modern network regulation”

The Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the Association of Energy Market Innovators (BNE) are calling for power network regulation reform in order to keep grid fees down and allow for a more flexible use of the grid, according to a joint press release of the two organisation states. Grid fees make up one fifth of the power price and could increase further with grid expansion, the statement says. Robert Busch at BNE  is calling for distribution grid operators to make their fee calculation much more transparent. DIHK and BNE also want to reduce the number of small grid operators, which now number over 900, in favour of efficient regional clusters.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the set-up of Germany's power grid here.

 

Leopoldina Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften

“Joint Statement on the Energy Transition in France and Germany”

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, four research academies from Germany and France have increased cooperation on subjects related to the energy transition such as energy efficiency, smart grids, renewables and energy storage. A joint statement lays out priority areas for close French-German collaboration on energy domain.

Read the statement in English here.

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