The decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear power plants is likely to be much more expensive than previously thought, Jan Schmitt writes on tagesschau.de, the website of German public broadcaster ARD's flagship news show. For instance, the price for dismantling the power plant near Greifswald in the East, which was built in the former communist German Democratic Republic, was originally estimated at 3.2 billion euros. It will cost at least 6.5 billion euros, Henry Cordes, chairperson of the nuclear dismantling service company Energiewerke Nord (EWN), told tagesschau.de. “Sociopolitically, this technology is a dreadful mistake,” said Cordes. The amount of money that utilities needed to provide for decommissioning, dismantling and waste disposal – according to current proposals – was not enough, criticises Claudia Kemfert of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).
Read the article in German on tagesschau.de.
For more information read the CLEW factsheet Securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up.
Green Budget Germany / WAZ
In 2014/15, the iron and steel industry has received about 2 billion euros per year in reliefs and exemptions from taxes and fees for electricity and CO2, according to an analysis by Green Budget Germany (FÖS), commissioned by the Green parliamentary group in the Bundestag. This translates to a subsidy of 17-18,000 euros per employee in the sector, the study says. With 717-805 million euros, industry exemptions from the renewables surcharge make up the largest part. Other factors are reductions in electricity taxes (489 million euros) and the free allocation of CO2-certificates within the EU Emissions Trading System (254 million euros), the FÖS paper says. “The industry profits hugely from the Energiewende and needs to contribute more than up until now. It can’t be that in the end, the private end consumer pays the price,” said Green member of parliament Oliver Krischer, according to an article in Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ).
Find the study in German on the FÖS website.
Read the article in German on the WAZ website.
Find more information on Industrial power prices and the Energiewende in the CLEW factsheet.
Diesel cars will continue to be necessary to reach climate protection targets, said Matthias Wissmann, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in an interview with Handelsblatt. “They use 25 percent less fuel than petrol models and emit up to 15 percent less CO₂,” Wissmann told the newspaper. He adds: “A country whose power generation is based predominantly on coal perhaps has a better climate footprint with a highly modern Euro-6 diesel motor than with a purely electric one.”
Read the interview (behind paywall) in German here.
Also read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.
Europe’s solar industry should think about cooperating with China instead of placing import tariffs on Chinese PV products, writes Stephan Scheuer in an op-ed for Handelsblatt. The tariffs disadvantage consumers in Europe and slow down the solar expansion because prices for PV modules are kept artificially high, he argues. European companies should use their specialised know-how in the areas of grid connections and steering of PV installations to cooperate with China and thereby find new business opportunities abroad.
A giant sailing vessel could become a new means of transport for car exports from Germany to America and Asia, reports Birger Nicolai in Die Welt. VW, Daimler and BMW are all looking into the possibility to get a contract for the 180 m long “Ecoliner” which will have four masts with 20 sails. VW’s plans are the most advanced and could become part of the companies sustainability offensive regarding its shipping logistics, the author writes. German car manufacturers are annually shipping some three million new cars abroad, using ships powered with the most polluting bunker fuels.
Read the article in German in Die Welt.
A new research project by Fraunhofer institute IWM in Freiburg is going to investigate the secure use of hydrogen in natural gas pipelines. The project will run for 4 years and cost 9.4 million euros, 1 million of which will be contributed by the federal research ministry.
Read the press release in German here.
See a CLEW dossier on the technologies of the Energiewende.
Association of Energy Market Innovators (BNE)
With the energy transition the amount of decentralised produced power and the number of distributed consumers is increasing which is putting pressure on the distribution grid, says the BNE, an association of independent energy suppliers and service firms. The system will therefore need to become more flexible in order to balance supply and demand, the organisation concludes. They suggest a market mechanism (flexibility bonus) that would pay power consumers to use electricity to the benefit of the grid.