Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
“Wind power blasts the limit”
Onshore wind power development will exceed government targets, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Provisions in the 2014 EEG reduce payments to new wind farms once additional capacity passes a certain limit. But this doesn’t seem to deter investors, the article says. In 2014, 4,670 megawatts of new capacity was added, almost 75 percent more than the official target. This year will see a similar development, the paper says. The onshore wind sector will publish half-year results on Thursday (See the CLEW calendar).
“Turnaround for the solar sector”
The solar industry seems to have weathered its crisis, writes Manfred Kriener in the taz. German solar company Solarworld has set a new world record in efficiency with its Perc solar cells, and is seeing its sales and share price rise. Phoenix Solar and SMA Solar show similar signs of success. Whether the optimism is justified with be revealed when the solar sector presents its half-year figures at the beginning of August, writes Kriener.
“Exit coal, enter water”
East Germany’s lignite mining area in Lusatia is slowly becoming a tourist destination, as former open-cast mines are being flooded to turn them into lakes, reports Alfons Frese in Tagesspiegel. But the transformation is slow and it takes years before people can swim in the lakes because initially the water is too acidic, according to the feature article. It is also obvious that not all current apprentices in the lignite industry will find jobs in the tourism industry once mining stops, Frese reports.
Read the article in German here.
“Flexibility offers a chance for smart action on the power market”
The integration of renewable energies means the entire energy system will have to become much more flexible, argues Eberhard Holstein, manager of Grundgrün Energie, a company specialising in the integration of renewables. In a commentary for Tagesspiegel, Holstein says the fluctuating nature of renewable energies is often seen as a problem, but it in fact offers huge economic potential. “Flexibility will be a central currency of the energy market and the whole Energiewende,” he writes.
Read the article in German here.
“Badly planned, too many small attempts”
In the face of growing energy consumption and decreasing resources, an energy transition is a must, Ulrich Altstetter, director at copper processor Wieland Werke in Ulm and head of the German Industry Federation’s (BDI) energy and climate group, told Südwest Presse in an interview. However, the Energiewende project must be better planned, to include a time frame, reliable cost calculation, and risk management. Altstetter said the renewable energy surcharge limited Wieland Werke’s scope for investment. The company invested 200 million euros in efficient technology to replace older, more energy-intensive machinery. But this could lead to them having to pay a higher renewable surcharge, since reduced power consumption means the company is no longer eligible for the exemptions for energy-intensive industries, Altstetter complained.
Read the interview in German here.
Freie Universität Berlin
"Why Local Initiatives as a Driving Force for Germany’s Renewable Energy Expansion Must Reinvent Themselves"
A paper by Jan Beermann and Kerstin Tews at the Environmental Policy Research Centre at FU Berlin analyses the enabling conditions, barriers and future prospects of decentralised renewable energy sources in the German energy transition. It looks at which decentralised experiments have served as a driving force in the development of renewables.
Download the paper in English here.
“Reservations against thermal insulations”
Estate agents have become more sceptical about the benefits of thermal insulation before a sale or re-letting, according to a poll by online portal immowelt.de in cooperation with Nürtingen-Geislingen University. 25 percent of estate agents believe energy saving measures are not worth the investments, mainly because financial returns are too insecure. “Since the beginning of the poll in 2010, real estate agents have never been so reluctant with their recommendations,” according to the press release.
Read the press release in German here.