“Full wind speed ahead”
The reason why payments for renewables have increased to 24.1 billion euros in 2015 is to be found in their success, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in a Q&A for the Frankfurter Rundschau. Power production from wind increased by 50 percent between 2014 and 2015, covering 13 percent of the power mix - almost as much as nuclear power - he writes. On the wholesale market, power prices fell but these benefits were not passed on to consumers, Wenzel says. The government’s planned changes to renewable development are likely to cause an increase in costs because they focus on more expensive offshore wind power while curbing inexpensive onshore wind, the article says.
“A massive opportunity”
The 24 billion euro price tag is not a scandal but proof of the success of renewables in Germany, including offshore wind power, Frank-Thomas Wenzel says in a commentary for the Frankfurter Rundschau on the renewables payments in 2015. Costs for modern wind turbines were similar to those for modern coal-fired power plants and Germany’s renewables sector was amassing a lot of know-how that it will be able to export in the future.
“Saving the climate is not for free”
Renewable power gets more expensive the more of it is produced – which seems grotesque from a market point of view, writes Jens Meyer-Wellmann in an opinion piece for the Hamburger Abendblatt. This system has led to an unprecedented boom in wind power development, and to an increase in costs. But the truth is also that costs for renewables have hardly risen recently, Meyer-Wellmann says. It is worth remembering that renewable development is not all about costs but also about saving the planet – and achieving that will have its price.
University of Stuttgart
“Manufacturers want to invest more into energy efficiency again”
German companies want to invest more into energy efficiency again, according to the institute for energy efficiency in manufacturing (EEP) at the University of Stuttgart. For the winter edition of the energy efficiency index (EEI), the researchers polled over 300 manufacturers which all said that they want to use at least 10 percent of their planned investments on energy efficiency measures. The number of companies which want to increase efficiency by more than 10 percent has grown from 20.6 percent to 68.5 percent in the past six months, the researchers said. Professor Alexander Sauer, from the EEP, said efficiency investment plans had picked up again after 2014 and claimed that the efficiency initiative of the energy ministry was getting results.
Download the index in German here.
“RWE primarily eyes returns in renewable businesses”
German utility RWE has big plans in the renewables sector: it wants to establish a business segment for large photovoltaic installations, primarily in the Near East, North Africa and Turkey. Together with Chinese PV manufacturer Jinko Solar, RWE qualified for a tender for the largest PV project in the region in Dubai at the end of 2015, Sandra Enkhardt writes in the PV magazine. RWE’s renewable branch, RWE Innogy, was not giving any targets for installed megawatts but was primarily looking for returns, RWE Innogy manager Hans Bünting said.
Read the article in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Thyssen-Krupp takes industry 4.0 to the steel works”
The energy transition is promising new business for Thyssen-Krupp, writes Helmut Bünder in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The company is working on a new generation of batteries that can store power at an industrial scale. Grid operators and large power consumers are likely to be customers. Thyssen-Krupp is also working on “Carbon2Chem”, a near CO2-free steel production method that uses the emissions to gain methanol and ammonia for use in the chemical industry.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Smart homes make their inhabitants transparent”
Intelligent controls for houses can make them significantly more efficient, provided that inhabitants and tenants agree to the usage of their data, says lawyer Jochen Stockbauer in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Digitalisation of buildings can reduce energy consumption without the need for building work such as new insulation. But it also makes the behaviour of residents transparent, Stockbauer explains.