18 Jul 2016, 00:00
Ellen Thalman

RWE denies danger of insolvency / Solar slumps

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Despite looming debt and the heavy financial burden from the nuclear clean-up, the CEO of electricity utility RWE, Peter Terium, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that the company is on solid financial ground. “We have many billions of euros in cash, among other things from our sale of the gas extraction company DEA. Our business is thoroughly financed through the end of the decade, everything is under control,” he said.  RWE, together with rival E.ON, have both been hard-hit by costs related to the country’s decision to shut down its nuclear power plants and focus on renewables, the paper writes. Profits from coal and nuclear have declined severely, and RWE’s debts are considerably higher than its equity, according to the newspaper.

Read how companies are paying for the nuclear clean-up in a CLEW factsheet here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Many pro-Energiewende politicians are complaining bitterly about plans to rein in renewables expansion through the reform of Renewable Energy Act, but in reality, the government is still going ahead with plans for a 45 percent renewables share in 2025, up from 29 percent today, writes the former head of utility RWE’s management board, Jürgen Grossmann and former Hamburg environment minister Fritz Vahrenholt in an op-ed the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Citing a host of effects from the Energiewende, they say the government continues full steam ahead, “regardless of how much that damages the competitiveness of our economy, regardless of how many jobs that costs and regardless of social considerations.”  The writers would like to see the expansion of renewable carried out in a more measured way, and criticise that it currently doesn’t take enough account of economic and electricity network needs.

Read a sampling of opinions on the recent renewables reform in a CLEW factsheet here.

Revenue from goods and services in Germany’s solar industry has been declining steadily in recent years, falling by 74.2 percent in 2014 compared to 2011, according to the German statistics office, Destatis. Revenue in 2014 was 3.7 billion euros, compared to 5.1 billion euros in 2013, 9.5 billion euros in 2012 and 14.3 billion euros in 2011.

Read the press release in English here.

German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) / Frankfurter Rundschau

Germany’s Energiewende is faltering in areas like the heating and mobility sectors, according the half-yearly report of the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE).  The share of renewable energy in electricity, heating and transport edged up to 15.1 percent in in the six months ending in June from 14.8 percent in the same period in 2015, the Frankfurter Rundschau writes, citing the BEE. That means “…we still have 85 percent ahead of us to reach decarbonisation,” BEE head Hermann Falk said in a press release. The electricity sector contributed to the slight gain as new offshore windparks came on line, the BEE said. The share of renewables in the heating sector was nearly stagnant at 13 percent and in the mobility sector, it fell back slightly to 5 percent.

Read the BEE press release in German here.

Read the article in the Frankfurter Rundschau here.

Read a CLEW dossier about the Energiewende in the transport sector here.

In the first quarter of 2016, there wasn’t a single application to build a wind turbine in Bavaria, the Bavarian government has said, and the same goes for the second quarter, according to information obtained by the website This comes after Bavaria passed a law in 2014 required wind turbines to be ten times further from the nearest house as they are high, the website says.

Read the article in German on here.

The battery maker BMZ is massively expanding production in Germany, writes The high-tech company will build four new production and warehouse facilities on its 55,000-square metre site in Karlstein-Grosswelzheim, the website says. The factory will have an annual development and production capacity of 200 million lithium-ion batteries with considerably higher productivity and durability, to meet the rapidly growing demand, says, citing BMZ.

Read the article in German on here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the technologies of the Energiewende here.

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