13 Aug 2018, 14:00
Kerstine Appunn Luke Sherman

Opposition to underground cables / AfD doubts climate change man-made

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Twenty municipalities along the planned route for HVDC (high -voltage direct current) transmission lines to carry wind power from northern Germany to industrial centres in the south, have requested they be constructed as overhead cables rather than buried underground, Andreas Mihm reports for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The cross-country grid infrastructure is supposed be completed by 2025. Following protests that threatened to delay the project considerably, the federal government laregly opted for more expensive but less visible underground cables. But municipalities like Hohe Börde in Saxony Anhalt, through which Suedost-Link will run, are worried about the impact the subterranean lines might have on their soil and have applied to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) to have the cables suspended from existing pylons.

Read the article in German (behind paywall) here.

For background see a CLEW dossier on the grid expansion and the energy transition here.


In an interview with public TV station ZDF, head of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party Alexander Gauland said he wasn’t denying climate change but didn’t think mankind carried much responsibility.  He also said he doubted we could prevent global warming, and therefore would not support any policy aimed at climate protection. The AfD is the largest opposition party in Germany’s federal parliament and projected to win 13 percent of the vote in Bavarian state elections in October 2018.

Find the interview in German here.

Handelsblatt Global

The construction of new offshore wind farms is revitalising German communities on the North Sea coast, Stefan Reccius reports for Handelsblatt Global. Wind turbine technicians are filling hotels that had been suffering from a decline in tourism and greater tax revenues are filling state coffers, Reccius writes. However, fishermen complain that safety zones around new turbines are limiting the size of their catch, he adds. There are currently 1,169 wind turbines operating in the North and Baltic Seas, which generated 5.4 gigawatts of electricity in the first half of this year. An additional 2 gigawatts of new capacity is to go online by 2025, the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) says.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the article Wind industry calls for special auctions amid expansion slowdown and the dossier Offshore wind power in Germany.

RP Online

The heat wave gripping Germany has seen households and businesses across Germany purchase record numbers of air conditioners, RP Online reports. The Fachverband Gebäude-Klima (FGK), an association with 300 member companies active in the building and indoor air quality sectors, expects more than 200,000 air conditioners to be installed in 2018, compared to a normal annual sales range of 150,000 to 160,000, the article says. Because air conditioners typically use a lot of power, greater domestic demand could push up Germany’s CO2 emissions, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.

For more on CLEW’s coverage of the heat wave, read the articles Hot summer turns up the heat on Germany’s coal commission and Germany’s power system weathers heat wave despite fossil plant curbs.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Businesses including Daimler, Audi, Caterpillar, Bosch, and energy company ENBW, are teaming up with scientists in the state of Baden-Württemberg to explore the potential for, and large-scale production of, synthetic fuels, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. The “reFuels” research project is aimed at “economic activity in a closed CO2 cycle”, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) President Holger Hanselka told the paper.

Read the article in German (behind paywall) here.

For background, read the factsheet Power-to-gas: Fix for all problems or simply too expensive? and the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

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