06 Apr 2016, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Minister calls nuclear energy an ‘aberration’ / Renewables dominate EU electricity mix

Ministry for the Environment and Nuclear Safety

Using nuclear energy is an ‘aberration’

The nuclear catastrophe of Chernobyl almost 30 years ago showed that using nuclear energy was an aberration, Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks said. But even in countries where Chernobyl and Fukushima had not led to such wide ranging societal discussion and policy change, nuclear power was an outdated technology, Hendricks said. “Purely for economic reasons nuclear energy will be phased out,” she added. Renewable energies like wind and solar power could now produce cleaner energy than nuclear reactors.

Read a CLEW dossier on the nuclear phase-out in Germany here.



“Court dismisses EnBW claim over nuclear moratorium”

A German court dismissed a 261 million euro compensation claim brought by utility EnBW after the government had decided to shut down two of the company’s nuclear reactors for three months following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, reports Reuters. The court said EnBW that it had failed to take steps to avert the damage for which it was now seeking compensation.

Read the article in English here.


Agora Energiewende

“Renewable energy sources dominate EU electricity mix”

At 29 percent, renewables accounted for the largest share in EU electricity supply in 2015, with moderate growth to 923 terawatt-hours (TWh) from 899 TWh in 2014, according to think-tank Agora Energiewende*. As Europe’s largest country, Germany is the biggest contributor with 193 TWh. The total amount of coal-based EU power generation remains largely unchanged at 833 TWh (26 percent). Germany leads the ranking with 277 TWh.

Find the analytic paper "Energy Transition in the Power Sector in Europe – State of Affairs 2015" in English here.


Ministry for the Environment and Nuclear Safety

“New test track for electric buses in Hannover”

The municipal transport service in Hannover started a pilot project with three fully electric buses on Tuesday. They run on fast-charging lithium titanate batteries and are powered with CO2-free electricity from the city’s train power grid. The trial is funded in part by the Federal Ministry for the Environment. Scientists of the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems will study how such a system functions in a typical local public transport system. The environment ministry said in a press release: “Innovative propulsion systems in public transport like plug-in, hybrid or electric buses offer substantial potential for climate and environment protection, as well as urban planning.”

Find the press release in German here.


Horváth & Partners / Die Welt Online

“Hardly any development; price difference between electric and combustion engine cars”

The price difference between a new electric car and a comparable combustion engine car dropped only slightly in 2015, writes Die Welt. Electric cars were 41 percent more expensive last year, compared to 45 percent in 2014 and 100 percent in 2010, according to a study by the consultancy Horváth & Partners. “The moderate change […] can be attributed to the fact that in 2015 no fully electric car was introduced to the market and the prices of the existing models hardly changed,” explains Horváth & Partners.

Find the press release in German here.

Read the article in Die Welt in German here.


Federal Government

“North Stream 2 can cover supply”

The “North Stream 2” gas pipeline from Russia to Germany can contribute to Germany’s and the EU’s security of energy supply, the German federal government said. The production of domestic natural gas will decrease in Germany, the Netherlands and Britain in the coming years, it states. The North Stream 2 project is in an early planning phase and no building permits have yet been awarded. The project would not be effected by ongoing economic sanctions against Russia, the government said in an answer to parliament.

Read the government reply in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier about the implications of the Energiewende on international security here.


World Resource Institute

“The Roads to Decoupling: 21 Countries Are Reducing Carbon Emissions While Growing GDP”

Twenty-one countries have decoupled economic growth from rising CO2 emissions, Nate Aden at the World Resources Institute writes. They include the US, Denmark, Sweden and Germany, but also Bulgaria and Uzbekistan. The latter two show that decoupling GDP and emissions is feasible in countries with expanding industrial activity, the author says. Germany’s CO2 emissions fell by 12 percent between 2000 and 2014, while GDP rose by 16 percent, the article says.

Read the article in English here.


Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft

“Energy ministry sticks to ‘world formula’”

The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy wants to stick with its plans to put a 45 percent ceiling on the renewables share in power consumption by 2025 into the reformed Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft reports. The ministry will also stick to its “world formula”, which allows onshore wind turbine capacity to be built only to fill the gap between the overall addition target and other renewable additions. Energy and renewable industry associations wanted a specific 2.5 GW per year addition target for onshore wind power

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the reform of the EEG here.


Agora Energiewende

“After Paris and before a Climate Action Plan 2050”

The German Climate Action Plan 2050, which is due to be passed by the government cabinet in summer, has to include climate targets for different sectors, Felix Matthes of the Institute for Applied Ecology said at a discussion event organised by Agora Energiewende* in Berlin. Carsten Rolle, from industry association BDI, opposed this view. He insisted that while a policy mix was necessary, detailed sector specific goals were not. He also said that Germany should only attempt to regulate emissions from those areas that were not already covered by the European Emissions Trading System.



“18 billion euros export promotion for coal”

The federal government has promoted projects of the steel, as well as the iron-ore and coal-mining industries with export credit guarantees totalling 18.1 billion euros since 2005, according to the government’s reply to a parliamentary question by  DIE LINKE, the left-wing group in the Bundestag. The largest share of these guarantees were in relation to projects in China with 4.11 billion euros. Russia follows with 3.34 billion euros, India with 2.81 billion euros and the US with 2.25 billion euros.

Find the reply of the federal German government here.


*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

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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