In the media: Tesla plans energy revolution

Bild/Lichtblick

“Tesla and Lichtblick plan energy revolution”

Hamburg-based renewable electricity provider Lichtblick is cooperating with Tesla to integrate the e-car company’s new “Powerwall Home Batteries” into the energy market, according to a Lichtblick press release. Widely reported in the German press over the weekend, Lichtblick and Tesla will start their collaboration in Germany and plan to expand it to the EU, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Central to the project is a Lichtblick IT platform, which connects decentralized producers, storage systems and the energy market. The Tesla battery will draw excess wind and solar power from the electricity network and use it in buildings or feed it back into the network during calm or cloudy periods, according to the press release. The idea is to have many widely distributed batteries performing this function, rather than a few, large battery storage systems.
According to an article on the mass-circulation Bild Online, Tesla is focusing on the German market because of the high number of private solar arrays. Last week, Bild ran another long article on Tesla’s new batteries and the company’s founder Elon Musk under the headline: “Will HE abolish our electricity costs?”

Read Lichtblick’s press release in English here.

Read an article on Bild Online about the cooperation in German here.

 

Spiegel Online

“Vattenfall prepares German employees for coal exit”

Jobs in open-cast mining will disappear sooner or later, Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall told Spiegel Online. This was a painful realisation for affected areas and it would take a while until they could accept it, he said. Hall said the government’s planned levy on coal would have a strong effect on the value of Vattenfall’s coal business, which the Swedish company is in the process of selling. “It would be helpful if the government agreed on a strategy for coal energy by the summer,” Spiegel quoted Hall as saying. Otherwise it might become difficult to sell Vattenfall’s German coal operations by the end of the year, Hall added, according to the website. He flatly rejected the levy and said it would lead to the mothballing of too many power plants, risking power supply shortages in Germany.

Read the article in German here.

 

Zeit Online

“It’s over in 2040”

The government should push ahead with its planned levy on old coal-fired power plants because otherwise Germany would miss its climate targets, said Martin Faulstich, chair of the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), in an interview with Zeit Online. The SRU's mandate is to independently advise the government. According to Faulstich, the levy is a necessary and reasonable supplement to the European emissions trading system. “Because Germany has more ambitious goals than the EU, it should also use an additional instrument,” said Faulstich. He said even supporters of coal knew that structural change in Germany’s mining areas was inevitable. The country should now shape the transition instead of postponing it. “Jobs will be lost, but the numbers mentioned are fear-mongering. Also, the Energiewende creates many more jobs which are future-proof,” he said. Faulstich argued Germany needed to develop a broad consensus about the exit from coal comparable to the society-wide agreement to phase out nuclear power. “By around 2040, Germany can say good-bye to brown coal,” he said.

Read the interview in German here.

Find CLEW background on the coal levy here.

 

Die Welt

“Lawyers take Gabriel’s coal plans apart”

Several legal experts say that the climate levy, a scheme to lower emissions from old coal-fired power stations, proposed by economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel, contradicts both EU law and the German constitution, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. Friedrich Spieth at legal firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer said that obliging power plant operators to pay the climate levy in extra European CO2 emission allowances was misusing them as “play money in a parallel regime,” the article says.

Read the article in German here.

See a CLEW article on the climate levy in English here.

 

PV magazine

“First photovoltaic auction: winners Sybac, Trianel and IBC satisfied”

Sybac Solar was awarded 40 percent of the ground-mounted photovoltaic capacity auctioned in the first round of a new tendering system that is replacing state-set subsidies for solar power arrays, PV magazine writes. Project developers IBC Solar and Trianel, a cooperation of municipal utilities also managed to win more than one tender. A Trianel representative told PV magazine that it will invest 18 million euros in its 18.5 megawatt projects.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW article on the first PV auction here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

“And emissions trading works after all”

The failing European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is the key argument for energy minister Sigmar Gabriel’s climate levy, but in effect the EU ETS works just fine – it simply doesn't fit with the German energy transition, writes Lena Schipper in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The European cap and trade system has been successful in getting participating companies to reduce their emissions, Schipper says. The low price for allowances could even mean that the system is working because companies that save emissions will demand fewer CO2 allowances, she writes. A recent rise in emissions in Germany is not due to a failing EU ETS but instead shows how the development of renewable energies and the cap and trade system do not fit together, the author writes.

See a CLEW factsheet on the EU ETS here.

 

Environment Ministry (BMUB)

“Hendricks: European Council paves the way to a timely reform of EU emissions trading”

The European Council is proposing a market stability reserve (MSR), designed to reduce the large excess of emissions allowances in the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), by 2019. German environment minister Barbara Hendricks welcomed this suggestion as a good basis for upcoming negotiations, a ministry press release says. Germany previously called for the MSR to come into force in 2017. The EU Commission wants to see it started in 2021. The current number of 2 billion excess allowances has undermined the incentive of the ETS, the press release says.

See the press release in German here.

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