28 Jul 2016, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Sven Egenter Julian Wettengel

Power consumption stays stable / Strong onshore wind expansion

Germany’s power consumption decreased by 0.2 percent in the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period last year, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) reports. The association said that during a time of “unchanged robust economic activity this is mainly because of efficiency gains in the use of power”. Consumption of natural gas increased by 7 percent year on year due to cooler weather in January, March and April, as well as a rise in natural gas usage for power production.

Read the press release in German here.

German Wind Energy Association (BWE) / German Engineering Federation (VDMA)

Germany has seen a net addition of onshore wind capacity of 1,892 megawatt (MW) in the first half of 2016, the BWE and VDMA report. That is 73 percent more than in the same period in 2015 when 1,093 MW were added. Wind energy association BWE and industry association VDMA are expecting a total addition of up to 4,400 MW net in 2016 and a similar development in 2017. The increased onshore wind power additions were triggered by federal states assigning more land for wind turbines, a step-by-step decrease of the guaranteed feed-in tariffs over the coming years, and the reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) with the switch to auctions, taking effect in 2017. This had led to a surge of permits in order to secure the option of installing turbines with legally fixed feed-in tariffs, Matthias Zelinger, managing director of VDMA Power Systems, said at a press conference in Berlin.

Read the press release in English here.

Also read the CLEW dossier on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act.

Dow Jones Newswires

Germany boasts the best framework conditions (e.g. financing) and with 41.5 gigawatt has the biggest onshore wind power capacity in Europe, but the industry has not achieved considerable price cuts compared to other European countries, writes Christian Grimm in an analysis for Dow Jones Newswires. Wind turbine operators get around 72 euros per megawatt-hour in Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark. Electricity from onshore wind is more expensive in southern Europe. Germany’s onshore wind market is dominated by small actors, which has prevented large scaling effects, Grimm says.

With 967.5 million euro, German utility EnBW has achieved a 24.2 percent lower operating result in the first six months of 2016 than in the same period in 2015. The company expects results for the whole year to be five to 10 percent lower than last year. The most successful parts of the business were its grids and renewable energies segments which, according to the company’s 2020 targets, will become the main pillars of the business. The renewables segment showed an adjusted EBITDA of 153.1 million euros, 75 percent more than during the first six months of 2015. The share of renewables in the company’s adjusted EBITDA rose from 6.9 percent to 15.8 percent. The adjusted EBITDA in the generation and trading segment fell year-on-year by around 73 percent to 148.6 million euros.

Read the press release in English here.

Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH)

Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) and Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) are launching an official complaint against Germany with the European Commission because of the “inadequate implementation” of the energy efficiency directive (EED). The environment organisations want the Commission to start infringement proceedings to put more pressure on the German government to increase its climate action. They claim the country’s current measures are not enough to achieve the target of 1.5 percent energy savings per year. They also say that many instruments (e.g. truck toll, air transport tax and emissions trading) are not clearly geared towards achieving more energy efficiency.

Read the press release in German here and find the complaint in English here.


Several states have created their own environmental regulations because they are dissatisfied with federal laws and plans, writes Angela Schmid in WirtschaftsWoche. “The federal government’s lip service in Paris doesn’t do anything for the world climate. As long as that’s the case, climate protection must be furthered by the states alone,” said Robert Habeck, Schleswig-Holstein state environment minister. Schmid lists examples from the states North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Schleswig Holstein.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on German federalism: In 16 states of mind over the Energiewende.

Daimler / Süddeutsche Zeitung

German car manufacturer Daimler has presented its first prototype for an electric transporter. The 26-tonne truck will have a range of 200 km on one battery charge and is envisaged to be used to transport goods into city centers. Daimler wants to start producing the “Urban eTruck” on a large scale by the beginning of the next decade, write Thomas Fromm and Max Hägler for Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Read the article by Süddeutsche Zeitung in German here and find more information on Daimler’s website in English.

taz – die tageszeitung

People need cars for different purposes but they do not necessarily need to own them, says Christian Hochfeld, director of think tank Agora Verkehrswende in an interview with the taz. The future could bring a kind of “mobility pass” that would allow everybody to access public transport, taxis or rental cars. “Only with such a system will new technologies show all their advantages,” he argued. German car manufacturers had to embrace the change more quickly and the government should give them the incentive to do so by including specific transport sector targets in the programme after the 2017 elections, Hochfeld told Hanna Gersmann.

Read the interview in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Environment organisations are disappointed with the government’s proposal for a German sustainability strategy 2016 because targets for a higher market share of climate friendly rail transport have been deleted, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. Allianz pro Schiene and others also criticise the fact that there is no fair competition between freight trains and road transport and that rail infrastructure had to be improved.

Greenpeace Energy

Greenpeace Energy and its subsidiary Planet energy aim to support citizens’ wind power projects in their planning phases in light of regulatory changes brought on by the reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). “The new EEG slows down the expansion of renewable energies and favours big businesses,” said Sönke Tangermann, board member at Greenpeace Energy at a press conference in Berlin. Citizens’ energy actors were at a disadvantage, because it was more difficult for them to deal with the costs and risks of the newly introduced auctions. Being a large company, it was easier for Greenpeace Energy to shoulder the investment risks, so it aims to provide expertise and capital for a share in citizens’ wind park project. However, the ultimate goal is to sell back the share at a later stage to make sure that the park truly remains a citizens’ project.

Find the press release in German here.

Also read the CLEW dossier on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act.

Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA)

Vattenfall’s lignite business results ahead of the sale of its coal mining and production facilities in eastern Germany offer some insight into why the Swedish utility is selling. They also raise the question of why Czech investor EPH is interested in the lignite operations, writes energy analyst Gerard Wynn for research institute IEEFA. Vattenfall’s lignite business has been loss-making, Wynn shows. But, while the Swedes see this as a risk worth divesting from, EPH is in a “subsidy play” by buying regulated fossil-fuel assets that are supported by regulated payments.

Read the post in English here.

Read a CLEW article about the sale of Vattenfall’s lignite business to EPH.

Handelsblatt Global Edition

French multinational oil company Total is looking to expand its network of petrol stations in Germany, Handelsblatt Global Edition reports. “This might not seem like a business with a bright future given the government’s decision to phase out fossil fuels,” author Regine Palm says. But Total nevertheless aims to achieve a share of 10 percent in the German petrol station market. At the same time the company is “experimenting with charging stations for electric cars”, Bruno Daude-Lagrave, incoming head of Total Germany told Handelsblatt.

Read the article (behind paywall) here.

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