US and Japan overtake German PV capacity / ‘Better not learn from Germany’
“As European solar installations slow, China, US and Japan lead global installed PV capacity in 2016”
The United States and Japan will surpass Germany’s installed solar PV capacity this year, according to consultancy IHS. “With annual installations stalling, Germany will fall from the second-largest installed base for PV to the fourth largest,” an IHS press release said. “A continued stagnation of major European PV markets due to weaker financial incentives has caused PV additions in Europe to slow dramatically in recent years, but global demand remains strong,” said Josefin Berg, senior IHS analyst of solar demand. By the end of the year, cumulative global installed capacity will surpass 310 gigawatts, according to IHS.
Find the press release in English here.
Deutsche Umwelthilfe / Deutschlandfunk
“Impulses for a better supply of heat”
Germany’s Energiewende still largely remains an energy transition in the power sector and needs to be extended to heating urgently, according to a position paper by environmental and consumer protection association Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH). Current measures are insufficient to reach Germany’s goal to reduce CO2 emissions from heating by 80 percent by 2050. DUH calls for enhancements to the legal framework, binding timetables for renovations, and additional financial incentives. “A reliable framework has to create transparency and planning security to promote investments in climate-friendly renovations,” according to the DUH press release.
Read a Deutschlandfunk report in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“The private Energiewende”
Online platform energieheld.de advises property owners on how best to renovate their house or flat to make it more energy efficient, reports Ulla Fölsing in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. This includes public support programmes, finding the right companies and coordination between those involved in the renovation process. The service is paid for by the companies via a commission dependent on the success of the project, according to the article. The complicated and time-consuming process of organising the renovation of his family’s house gave one of the founders the idea to start the website, which now has 250,000 visitors per month.
Find the article in German here.
“Better not learn from Germany”
Cheap nuclear power has always been a lie, writes Petra Pinzler in a commentary for Zeit Online. Because not enough money can be extracted from the utilities to pay for the nuclear clean-up, tax payers will end up paying for the nuclear waste, according to Pinzler. “Whoever might look from afar to Berlin these days can really learn from German mistakes and save many billions of euros,” writes Pinzler. Germany is about to find out the true costs of nuclear power. “The answer is clear already: It is expensive, very expensive.” Pinzler says somebody must explain loud and clearly to countries planning new nuclear reactors what is happening in Germany right now.
Read the commentary in German here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up here.
“Strengthen climate protection after Paris”
With a view to the meeting of EU environment ministers on Friday, 26 non-governmental and church associations have urged Germany’s government to step up efforts to protect the climate. In a letter to environment minister Barbara Hendricks and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, the organisations argue current EU climate and energy targets are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees or at least well below 2 degrees Celsius, as agreed at the Paris Climate Conference. “The organisations believe it is the government’s duty to push for an increase in European energy and climate targets,” according to a press release.
Find the press release in German here.
“Government fights about green power”
The economics ministry’s proposal for the reform of the Renewable Energy Act suggests there is no agreement within government on one of the central question of future renewable support, reports Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. It is still unresolved whether there should be a support scheme for onshore wind in case Germany reaches its renewable targets before 2025, according to Bauchmüller. According to current plans, new onshore wind capacity will only fill the gap left by offshore and solar additions. To avoid a collapse of wind, previous proposals included a minimum onshore addition of 2,000 megawatts per year, but this target is no longer spelled out in the most recent draft law, according to Bauchmüller.
Read the article in German here.
Find a CLEW on the reform plans here.
“Gabriel rejects lignite fund”
Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has rejected demands by mining union IG BCE to transfer lignite plants and mines into a fund to secure their future operation, reports Thorsten Knuf in Frankfurter Rundschau. A Gabriel spokeswoman said the union’s proposal was just one among many others in the lignite debate and added the government had set ambitious climate targets and would stick to the Paris Agreement. “This has shown that Germany has chosen the right path with its Energiewende to increase renewable energies and energy efficiency,” the spokeswoman said.
Knuf writes in a commentary the union proposals are absurd in several ways. “There is no reason to give a climate-damaging industry a guaranteed existence for 35 years. Especially if this requires state aid.” He argues the proposal is the mining union’s signal it is willing to negotiate a phase out, as it spells out the union’s starting point for negotiations.
Find the article in German here.
Federal German Association for Brown Coal (DEBRIV)
“Lignite in Germany – Facts and Figures”
The Federal German Association for Brown Coal (DEBRIV) has published a flyer in English, summarising statistics on the industry. According to the publication, 20,744 people were employed in the lignite sector at the end of 2015, compared to 21,406 a year earlier. “For many years to come, lignite is the only domestic energy supplier that is available in large amounts without subsidies on competitive terms,” states the publication.
Find the flyer, which includes many graphs, in English here.