Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Greenpeace
“Expenses for green power reach new record high”
Payments for renewable power have reached a record high in 2015, Andreas Mihm reports for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Operators of wind, photovoltaics and biogas plants received 24.1 billion euros for their power, the annual statistics of the grid operators shows. Michael Fuchs, head of the CDU-CSU Conservative Parties parliamentary group in the Bundestag, called on the energy minister to curb renewables support. The energy transition was “becoming a financial disaster” and changing from feed-in tariffs to an auction scheme in 2019 was too late to fix it, Fuchs said.
In a response to Mr Fuchs’ remarks, Greenpeace energy expert Niklas Schinerl said that the cost peak for renewables had already been overcome. More sun and wind was increasing the payments to renewable installations but it also lowered costs at the wholesale market, which industry was benefiting from, he added.
Germany’s renewable law guarantees feed-in payments to green power plants for 20 years. Researchers have estimated that costs will peak in 2023.
Read the article in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet about the green energy account here.
“No forecast for renewable energy surcharge”
The government advises against medium-term forecasts of the renewable energy surcharge consumers pay with their power bills. Changes in the weather and the wholesale power price can add up to differences of three billion euros in Germany’s national green energy account, equivalent to one cent per kWh in the surcharge for the following year, according to the report. “This area of insecurity rises with an increasing share of renewables”, writes the government. A reliable forecast was therefore “objectively not possible”.
Find the report in German here.
Die Zeit / Reuters
“Germany wants to put 2 billion euros into encouraging electric cars”
Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel plans to use 2 billion euros to encourage people to buy electric vehicles, Reuters reports, citing an article in German weekly Die Zeit. The money could be used to pay buyers of electric cars a premium and to expand the network of charging stations.
Read the article in English here.
“Terium and the green hope”
RWE Innogy, the renewable subsidiary of utility RWE has announced a doubling of its operating results in 2015 to around 400 million euros, Franz Hubik reports in the Handelsblatt. This is good news for CEO Peter Terium, after RWE lost half of its value at the stock exchange within one year. When RWE splits its renewable operations from the mother company in April, half of the money raised in the stock market launch will be invested in renewables development as part of a “controlled offensive”, Terium said. In the conventional power sector RWE will only invest what is necessary, he said.
Read the article in German here.
Germany’s Energiewende has entered a new phase after renewables have become mainstream, argues Andreas Kuhlmann, head of the German Energy Agency (dena). The buzzword of the second phase is “integrated energy”, which is about connecting a huge number of decentralised units. “Electricity, heat, transport, industry – in all areas, work is ongoing and giving rise to the conviction that the best synergies can be realised by integrating various sectors. An ideal laboratory for many innovations and German engineering,” writes Kuhlmann. He says politicians have their work cut out because today’s framework is still geared to the first phase of the Energiewende, and might not suit the second phase.