Green Budget Germany / Frankfurter Rundschau
“Ten million tonnes more CO2”
Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions increased again in 2015, compared to 2014, researchers from Green Budget Germany (FÖS) say. Emissions increased by 1.1 percent or 10 million tonnes to a total of 912 million tonnes in 2015, according to their estimates. The main reasons were an increase in energy consumption due to higher heat demand, the use of more lignite in the power sector, and an increase in the use of diesel and heating oil, the researchers write in the study commissioned by the Green Part parliamentary group in the Bundestag. Germany has achieved a 27 percent emissions reduction compared to 1990 but is not on track to achieving a reduction of another 13 percentage points by 2020 in order to reach its 2020 -40 percent CO2 climate target, the researchers say.
Read the study in German here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on Germany's climate targets here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“The balancing act between people’s and minority party”
The election results of the Green Party – the most prominent advocate of the energy transition – in the three states of Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate are a mixed bag, writes Johannes Leithäuser in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The success of incumbent Green state premier Winfried Kretschmann in Baden-Württemberg has long been explained by special effects like the nuclear catastrophe of Fukushima, and Kretschmann's middle-class image, he says.
After these elections, votes from Green state government representatives will still be needed for lawmakers to achieve a majority in the Bundesrat (upper house / state chamber on federal level).
Find a CLEW factsheet on Germany’s federalism and the Energiewende here.
Read a CLEW article on the role of the elections for energy policy here.
Süddeutsche Zeitung / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Without Kretschmann, the Greens are weak”
The Green party celebrated a historic victory in Baden-Württemberg by becoming the largest party in the regional parliament, but they lost many votes in Rhineland Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt, writes Robert Probst in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Greens’ commitment to the Energiewende in Rhineland Palatinate was “obviously not an election campaign hit,” according to Probst.
In a commentary in the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung, Daniel Deckers writes that the Greens’ “disastrous results” in Rhineland Palatinate show what can happen if the party sticks to maximum demands on issues such as the Energiewende, instead of placing its bets with particular candidates.
Read the analysis in the Süddeutsche Zeitung in German here.
Find the commentary in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in German here.
“Fresh breeze and old coal”
The Green government in Baden-Württemberg has made itself felt in the region’s record expansion of wind capacity last year, but the regional government is likely to miss its goal of increasing the share of wind power in electricity to at least ten percent by 2020, writes Bernward Janzing in the taz. The Energiewende in general is making only slow progress in the state: Germany’s renewables share rose ten percentage points in the last five years, but Baden-Württemberg only managed an increase of five percentage points, writes Janzing.
Read the article in German here.
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Key points on regional green power labelling
The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has presented a reform proposal on the so called “regional green power labelling", envisaged as part of the overall reform of the Renewable Energy Act in summer 2016. The idea is to enable power suppliers to tell their customers which regional renewables installations supply their electricity, if they wish to do so. This would benefit the social acceptance of renewable energy. “This is important for the further expansion path of renewables and for sufficient competition in the coming auctions,” said BMWi state secretary Rainer Baake according to a press release.
Read the press release and download the key points in German here.
For an overview of the election results in English see here.
No deal with nuclear power plant operators
The government won’t offer a deal to nuclear power plant operators before the Constitutional Court hears the operators' case against the 2011 nuclear phase-out on Tuesday, Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks said in an interview on NDR Info radio. She was confident that the court would follow the government’s view that the decision was constitutional.
Listen to the interview in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet about the legal problems of the nuclear phase-out here.
“Foundation for Lusatian lignite under discussion”
Because Vattenfall has not received any bids for its German lignite operations it deems acceptable, placing the assets in a foundation is under consideration, according to a report by regional broadcaster rbb. Politicitians are sympathetic to this idea, but the details are still unclear, including whether the Swedish company would agree, says the report. A foundation would mean a buyer would not be liable for the lignite operations, according to the report.
Business daily Handelsblatt had reported that insiders considered the lignite mining and power plant operations “worthless” given current market conditions.
Find the report in German here.
Until 2011, the Energiewende was “a kind of guerrilla battle against old structures,” writes Dagmar Dehmer in a commentary in Tagesspiegel on the state of the energy transition five years after Fukushima. When the first nuclear exit and the renewable energy act were agreed in 2000, those involved had probably no idea of the creative destruction this would bring, culminating in the split of major utilities E.ON and RWE. In coming years, the electrification of heat and transport will be required, according to Dehmer. “Five years after Fukushima, the German Energiewende has reached a point where it no longer affects just a few parts of the economy. Now, the climate-friendly total conversion will begin. There will be many winners, but also some losers.”
Read the commentary in German here.
Find the CLEW overview on Fukushima’s impact on Germany here.
German Biomass research centre (DBFZ)
The Energiewende requires a repowering of existing biomass facilities, according to the German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ). One in five facilities is older than ten years, and these aren't able to provide the necessary flexibility in power generation, according to a survey of more than 1,800 plants, out of Germany’s total of around 8,000 facilities. Today, a broad array of technologies is available to significantly increase the efficiency of the plants. “The results show that there is a big potential for repowering, and therefore also for a better integration into a renewable energy system.”
Find the press release in German here.