Minister concerned about power exports / Slow grid extension
“Hendricks criticises massive rise in electricity exports”
Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks is concerned about the country’s CO2 emissions, writes Stefan Schultz at Spiegel Online. The continued high level of power production from coal was offsetting progress in climate protection achieved through the increase in renewable electricity production, Hendricks told Spiegel Online. “That’s due to the overcapacity of coal-fired power plants and the record level of power exports connected to that,” she said. Those overcapacities offered a “very big” potential for further emission reductions, Hendricks said. The government’s decision to retire eight lignite plants was necessary from a climate policy perspective and possible without creating power shortages.
Read the article in German here.
Find a CLEW dossier on Germany’s climate policy including a factsheet on its climate targets here.
E.ON and Uniper: One energy giant to become two utilities
German utility E.ON is making good progress with its plan to split conventional power production and renewables business, writes Jürgen Flauger in the Handelsblatt. However, for both entities – Uniper for the conventional power production and E.ON for the renewables business – the biggest challenge is still ahead. Johannes Teyssen, who will keep the leadership at E.ON, and Klaus Schäfer as boss of Uniper, will have to prove after the split that both parts have better opportunities operating separately, Flauger writes.
Of 4,800 “milestones” needed to complete the spin-off process, 4,200 have been reached, Flauger writes. All employees have been placed in one of the companies, and while 40,000 will stay at E.ON, 14,000 will move to Uniper. The tricky task of distributing assets and debts between the two is still in process. A detailed report must be ready in time before shareholders finally approve the split on 8 June, Flauger writes.
“Now’s the time to electrify the energy supply”
Germany should follow through with the Energiewende and work on the electrification of the whole energy system, writes the executive director of the Association of Energy Market Innovators (BNE), Robert Busch, in an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Rundschau. “Heating and transport have to be powered by renewables, too, in order to cut overall emissions effectively,” he says. The government must consider the larger electricity demand when planning new power grids.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
“Grid agency: power grid growth too slow”
The extension of Germany’s power grid has failed to meet internal targets in 2015 and the lack of sufficient transmission capacity is forcing operators increasingly to shut down production capacity at certain times, the head of the grid agency Jochen Homann told press agency dpa, in a story picked up by Finanztreff.de. Consumers have to pay for the costs of the so-called redispatch measures, which could reach 1 billion euros by 2020. “This is a clear signal that we have to move ahead faster with the grid extension,” Homann said. For the three future north-south projects involving 2,200 kilometres of power lines, Homann said he expects greater acceptance among citizens if cables are to be buried.
Read the full article in German here.