01 Oct 2015, 00:00
Sören Amelang Ellen Thalman

In the media: Wind power blows past record

German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW)/Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW)

“Wind power generation 2015 already exceeds last year’s level”

Thanks to strong winds and the addition of new turbines, wind power generation has climbed to new records, according to the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW). “Wind power generation until September already exceeded last year’s total”, states a press release. Between January and September, generation added up to 59 billion KWh, compared to 57.4 billion KWh in the whole of 2014.

Read the press release in German here.


Statistics Agency (Destatis)

“Industrial plants account for almost 9 percent of the electricity produced in Germany”

German manufacturing companies generated a total of 45 TWh of electricity last year, equivalent to nine percent of the country’s gross energy production, according to Statistics Agency Destatis. “In the first place, the industrial power plants meet internal demand, but in many instances electricity is supplied to other local units and exported to the public electricity grid”, Destatis said in a press release.

Read the press release in English here.



“Climate protection poses problems for industry”

German and Austrian energy intensive companies are worried about the negative effects of more stringent climate protection rules, which could threaten their businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to a study by the Handelsblatt Research Institute, writes Martin Wocher in the Handelsblatt. Even though no such shutdowns or shifting of operations abroad have occurred yet, this could happen gradually, the institute concludes. Under particular threat is the steel industry, in light of EU plans to remove 1.5 billion CO2 certificates from the market as of 2019. Companies think this could cause the price to rise sharply to around €30 per tonne of CO2 from €7 now, according to the article. Because of exemptions or excess certificates on the market, companies have until now paid little or nothing for the right to pollute, according to the article. This could change dramatically, bringing costs of a billion euros a year for steel companies in Germany alone, the article says.

Read a dossier on competitiveness and the Energiewende here.


Wind Power

“What we can all learn from the German Energiewende"

It’s important to keep in mind that Germany is the first major industrialised country attempting an Energiewende, and therefore provides valuable lessons, writes Steve Sawyer, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council, in Wind Power. “It doesn't always get everything right the first time, and every little detail is hotly debated publicly and in depth.” Sawyer says the first lesson is that political commitment is fundamental, and that politicians need to gain public support for climate protection. Clear targets, built-in reviews, efficiency, flexibility and close attention to markets are also among the key areas other countries can draw lessons from, argues Sawyer.

Read the article in English here.

Find a factsheet about public support for the Energiewende here.

“A real cost indicator is necessary”

The renewable surcharge paid by consumers with their power bills is likely to rise next year, which will cause a totally misguided public uproar, writes Uwe Nestle, founder of consultancy EnKliP, in an opinion piece on  “The surcharge does not reveal anything about the costs of the renewables roll-out compared to fossil equivalents”, argues Nestle. Many ageing fossil plants would have to be replaced in Germany in the coming years and could not be financed given currently low wholesale power prices. “We would need a ‘fossil energy surcharge’ for this task”, writes Nestle. He says a new indicator for the real costs is needed, which would reveal that despite the significant increase in the surcharge in the past years, the cost efficiency of renewables has risen sharply.  The surcharge for 2016 will be announced on 15 October.

Read the article in German here.

Find a factsheet explaining the surcharge here.



"What the nuclear shut-down will cost"

Nuclear power companies' provisions for dismantling power plants and storing waste over the long term won't be enough, and taxpayers will have to shoulder some of the burden, writes the weekly magazine Wirtschaftswoche. How much is not yet known, but the outlook may be worse than thought, the magazine writes.. According to theoretical calculations by the Wirtschaftswoche, the companies would  need to plug a hole of around 29 billion euros due to faulty assumptions on which their provisions are based. If lower-than-caculated interest rates continue, the magazine writes, then even after shutting down the plants another double-digit billion sum would have to be added. On top of that, there will be additonal costs for storing radioactive waste, it writes. 

Read the article in German here

Read a dossier on the nuclear phase out here.


Frankfurter Rundschau

"VW Scandal: Dieselgate shakes up the entire branch"

The VW emissions-cheating scandal has a much bigger meaning than just exposing trickery and corruption, writes Joachim Wille in a commentary in the Frankfurter Rundschau. It exposes the power of the automobile lobby in Germany to distract from the real problem: our car-centric world simply doesn't match with today's goals of health, climate protection and ecology, he says. The car lobby has tried for years to meet the demands of a more ecologically-minded public and political landscape, without actually changing the system we operate in, he says. Instead, companies try to make "clean diesel" and maintain the car-based, individual lifestyle we have come to accept as status quo, actually hindering a "traffic transition" like the Energiewende, that would shift mobility to buses, trains, bicycles and walking, he writes. 

Read the article in German here

“The world on a 3.5-degree path”

October 1 is the deadline for countries to hand in their climate protection goals to the UN climate secretary in Bonn, and few have come up with plans that will keep the earth’s temperature from rising by more than 2 degrees celsius this century, reports Benjamin von Brackel in  The goals are the basis for the UN Climate Summit in December, when countries will commit themselves to keeping emissions below certain levels. Climate analysts from Climate Interactive in Washington, DC, calculate on the basis of 72 countries’ current pledges that temperatures will rise by 3.5 degrees, the author says. Of the major polluters, only India has not yet turned in its plans, insisting that industrial countries first have to cut their greenhouse gases and the emerging countries must focus on eradicating poverty, the author writes. However, India still plans to turn in a plan, but one day after the deadline. The question then is whether the targets are enough to keep global warming down to 2 degrees celsius in order to keep the climate system stable.

Read the article in German here

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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