Merkel to work with Trump on climate / Utilities’ market share dips
Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would try to work on climate policy with US President-elect Donald Trump, who has threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement, reports news agency Reuters. At a meeting of her party (CDU), Merkel pointed out that climate negotiations with US presidents have not been easy in the past. But she insisted she would voice her position to future leader Trump: "Of course, I will then say that I believe that climate change is absolutely caused by people," Merkel said, adding: "We want to see how the positions develop."
Read the article in English here.
Also read the CLEW article IEA director calls on Germany to take climate leadership during G20 presidency.
Federal Network Agency / Federal Cartel Office
The market power of Germany’s four large electricity suppliers has decreased significantly over the past years, according to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) and the Federal Cartel Office’s Monitoring Report 2016 on the developments in the German electricity and gas markets. For the report year 2015, other findings include:
- Total power generation increased slightly to 594.7 terawatt hours, while generation from conventional fuels decreased
- Conventional power generation capacity has increased, mainly due to the long-term nature of realising power plant projects
- German power exports increased by 14.9 percent to 68 terawatt hours and were significantly higher than imports (17 terawatt hours)
- The average yearly downtime per customer at 12.7 minutes was below the current ten-year average (2006 – 2015: 15.87 min)
- Re-dispatch measures amounted to a total of 16,000 gigawatt hours (more than three times 2014 level) and cost 412 million euros
- The sum of all grid and system security measures (feed-in management, re-dispatch, reserve power plants, counter trading) in 2015 comes to 1.133 billion euros (2014: 436 million euros)
- Average wholesale power prices decreased by 3 percent, compared to 2014, to 31.63 euros per megawatt hour
- Grid expansion continues to be delayed: of the planned 1,800 kilometres most crucial high voltage power lines, 650 kilometres have been realised (35 percent)
Even with the EU Commission’s new energy package, Europe’s energy policy remains unfinished as member states continue to fend for themselves, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an opinion piece for Süddeutsche Zeitung. The problem is that each country has its own definition of clean energy and the latest Commission package tries to incorporate them all, writes Bauchmüller.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
For background information read the CLEW dossier Germany's energy transition in the European context.
The EU energy package is not ambitious enough to help Europe reach the targets laid out in the Paris Agreement, writes Joachim Wille in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Rundschau. The label says “Clean Energy for all Europeans”, but “whoever opens the package can only be disappointed”, writes Wille. “Ergo: Not a nice winter package, but rather something to return to the store. The question is: who will place the new order? In the past, one could have hoped for Germany.”
German utility RWE’s green subsidiary innogy is interested in joining the joint venture automakers announced to deploy a fast-charging network for e-vehicles covering European travel routes, writes Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt. “The initiative is exactly the right step to support e-mobility. We can well imagine supporting it,” Norbert Verweyen, innogy’s head of operations for e-mobility, told Handelsblatt. The company is already Germany’s leader in e-mobility infrastructure, with more than 3,000 charging points and partnerships with car manufacturers and petrol and service stations, writes Flauger.
Read the article in German here.
A shift to electric mobility from the combustion engine could significantly reduce the number of jobs in Germany’s car-making industry because the production of e-cars and batteries requires less workers and a different skill-set, writes Guido Bellberg in Die Welt. Some new jobs will be created but this will be of little help to those who currently work on cars as most of them cannot be re-trained as computer specialists. In addition, many of the new factories and jobs for e-cars and their parts will be built elsewhere.
Read the article in German here.
Germany’s second largest city Hamburg plans to fundamentally reorganise its district heating system by using natural aquifers as year-round heat reservoirs, writes Frank Drieschner in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit. “It’s about storing the summer’s heat for winter,” Drieschner writes, explaining that the salt water-bearing layers in Hamburg’s soil could practically absorb an “infinite” amount of waste heat from power plants, factories and even from the city’s Elbe River. Hamburg’s geological conditions for the aquifer heat storage are said to be “ideal”, he writes. The waste heat stored in the ground could be made available for roughly half of the price customer’s usually pay for district heating, according to figures of the ecologic think tank Hamburg-Institut, the author explains.
For information on other regional Energiewende projects, see the CLEW factsheet Local stories from Germany's energy transition.
Heinrich Böll Foundation
The Heinrich Böll Foundation has launched a website to accompany the German G20 presidency. The site offers feature articles, explanatory pieces, interactive maps and factsheets on the G20 issues. “Well-founded information are crucial for honest public debates and real democratic participation,” said Barbara Unmüßig, president of the foundation, which is closely affiliated with the Green Party.
Find the website here.