Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Grid fees push up power price”
An internal analysis by the federal grid agency reveals that the systemic costs of the Energiewende will push up grid fees, reports Helmut Bünder in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The country is gradually implementing reforms to rein in the power surcharge consumers pay to finance renewable energy, but in the meantime, grid fees are rising rapidly, writes Bündner. Some business consumers in eastern Germany can expect an increase of more than 20 percent in 2016, while grid fees paid by households will increase by almost six percent to 7.27 cents per kWh on average, according to the agency’s paper. Bünder says the reason for the increase is investment in grid extensions, costing billions of euros, as well as costs for stabilising the grid to deal with fluctuations in wind and solar power generation.
Read the article in German here.
Find the CLEW dossier on Germany’s power grid here.
“The emissions game”
Tricks to reduce emissions, as well as the manipulation or gilding of specifications, are widespread in the car industry and not just a VW problem, argues Ulrich Schäfer in a commentary for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The problems are endemic and were only possible because good test results pleased politicians, car buyers and inspectors alike. Whoever wants to address the problem in earnest must look beyond VW, argues Schäfer. “The real question is whether the climate goals for the car industry are really realistic, or whether they are impossible pipe dreams,” writes Schäfer.
Die Tageszeitung – taz
“Standing around in the rain”
Appearing in front of an investigating committee last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel claimed the federal government's role in the decision to shut down nuclear power stations days after the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011 was political - but that states bore the responsibility for finding a legal way to implement the decision, writes Ingo Arzt in the taz. The committee is trying to find who is liable for claims awarded by a Hessian court to RWE in 2014, which ruled that Hesse unlawfully ordered the RWE plant shut-down without consulting the operator, the taz says. RWE had sued the state for 235 million euros. The judge also found that the 2011 shut-down order was based on a legal paragraph that was not applicable, according to the paper. The Hesse state parliament has set up an inquiry to find out whether the federal government is liable, rather than Hesse, because Merkel made the decision in Berlin. The inquiry could have implications for other, similar lawsuits.
Read the article in German here.
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
“Efficiency label for central-heating boilers helps save energy”
Plumbers, chimney sweeps and energy advisers will attach efficiency labels to around 13 million old central heating boilers in Germany over eight years, of the according to a press release by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), announcing the completion of the legislative process for the new labels. Already familiar to households from home appliances, the label is meant to motivate consumers to replace boilers by calling attention to those that are inefficient. The average boiler in German homes is almost 18 years old, which means 70% of those in use fall into the highly inefficient categories C, D and E, according to the press release.
Find the press release in German here.
COP21 – Road to Paris
“Barbara Hendricks calls for recognition of climate refugees”
German environment minister Barbara Hendricks says the UN should allow for a new category of climate refugees, AFP reports. Without an effective climate policy, drought and flooding would destabilise states, forcing people to flee, she said in an interview. Many climate refugees who had already lost their livelihoods due to global warming were currently discredited as economic migrants, the minister said. Hendricks wants industrial nations to take responsibility for this issue, because, she says, the industrialisation of developed countries has caused and is still causing global pollution.
Read the report in German here.
Die Tageszeitung - taz
“Climate action, born in the U.S.A.”
We have to cast off the misconception that climate action is a German invention and that the US doesn’t care about it, says Bernhard Pötter in an opinion piece for taz. President Obama has set new standards by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. Meanwhile Germany has just decided to give subsidies to redundant brown coal plants, Pötter says. Three weeks before the UN climate conference in Paris, Germany’s “climate chancellor” Angela Merkel should take Obama as an example.