June was the strongest month so far in 2016 for solar PV expansion, with 119.4 megawatt additional installed capacity reported to the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), writes pv magazine. Of the total, 90.5 megawatt were from small solar PV facilities, while 28.9 megawatt were from large-scale solar parks. With a total of 512.8 megawatt capacity added during the first half of 2016, Germany currently lags behind the defined target of 2,500 megawatt additions per year. BNetzA has now registered a total of 40,212 megawatt solar PV capacity in Germany.
Several German municipalities reject the idea that non-highly radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear power plants is stored at their local landfills over radiation fears, write Michael Bauchmüller and Thomas Hahn in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Most of the waste is not radioactive and about one percent is cleared for regular disposal because radiation is below a certain threshold. But “people that used to fight nuclear power plants are now fighting their demolition”, write Bauchmüller and Hahn. “I didn’t reckon that it would be especially difficult to establish a community of responsibility when it comes to the dismantling of nuclear power plants,” said Robert Habeck, state environment minister of Schleswig-Holstein.
Read the article in German here.
Find background information in the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.
Erneuerbare Energien / vbw
Industry energy prices in Bavaria were “apparently completely stable”, writes Tilman Weber for Erneuerbare Energien. According to an analysis by the Bavarian Industry Association (vbw), higher oil, hard coal, natural gas and electricity costs drove up the association’s index for total energy costs for the fourth month in a row to a value of 88.3 in June 2016, compared to 78.7 in February. However, before that period, prices fell considerably in the winter months and were now only returning to the original level, Weber writes in his article (index was at 90.1 in November 2015). Bertram Brossardt, vbw managing director, also points out: “For months now, the price advantage of businesses has constantly melted away.” Electricity prices during the same period remained relatively stable with an index of 114.9 in June 2016, 112.6 in February 2016 and 114.9 in November 2015.
Find out more in the CLEW factsheet on Industrial power prices and the Energiewende.
Climate protection targets should play a “significantly bigger role” in federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s transport infrastructure plan 2030, Maria Krautzberger, president of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), said in an interview with Handelsblatt. She criticised the fact that more budget is planned for the new construction and development of streets than for rail transport. “The focus is simply wrong. What is missing in Germany is a commitment to rail transport. Such a commitment is urgently needed if we want to take the Paris climate agreement seriously,” said Krautzberger.
Read the CLEW dossier on the energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.
The 800 km “Südlink” cable from the North Sea to Baden-Württemberg and the 500 km south-east connection between Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria will both not be finished before 2025, Ulrich Milde writes in the Leipziger Volkszeitung. The grid operators have to plan new cable routes since the government decided to put the cables underground to increase citizen support. Burying the cables will cost up to three times as much as the previously planned overland connections, the article says.
Grid operator TenneT has paid 295 million euros in contingency payments to wind power operators in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein in 2015 because their electricity could not be transported through congested grids, Olaf Preuß writes in Die Welt. Wind park operators receive up to 95 percent of their guaranteed feed-in tariff if they are ordered to turn off their turbines because the generated power cannot be transported. This happens most often in the area along the coast.
Read the article in German here.
Find background information in the CLEW factsheet on Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid.