28 Dec 2015, 00:00
Sören Amelang

Utilities face new competitors / 'Fraudulent' climate policies

Spiegel Online

“Car and internet companies conquer the power sector”

Utilities face massive new competition as the transformation of Germany’s energy landscape attracts powerful new players from the IT and car industries, writes Stefan Schultz on Spiegel Online. US company Tesla is selling batteries to German households, VW and Daimler want to use e-car batteries as major power storage systems, and IT company Entelios can adapt the consumption of whole factories to the availability of wind and solar power, according to Schultz. He says car and IT managers are more competent at developing new business models than utilities.   

Read the article in German here.

“A first rate political fraud”

Germany’s climate targets require that the country cuts CO2 emissions more rapidly, but instead emissions rose in 2015, writes Nick Reimer, chief editor of the website “The core message is clear: The instruments offered by politicians are insufficient to save emissions,” writes Reimer. “If you look closer at 2015’s climate policy, it’s totally obvious that 2015 was a lost year in the fight against climate change.” PV installations significantly lag behind plans for the second year running, the use of biofuels in transport fell, and the promised financial support for building insulations didn’t materialise, according to Reimer. The new data mean that Germany now needs to cut emissions by 3.25 percent every year until 2019, which is only possible with a coal exit, insulation, new policies for air traffic, more speed in rolling out renewables, and a new law for climate protection. Everything else would be a “first rate political fraud," argues Reimer.  

Read the commentary in German here.  

Find a CLEW article on the preliminary emissions data for 2015 here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on Germany’s climate targets here.


Die Welt

“Energiewende starts to stagnate”

In an interview with Die Welt, Hermann Albers, president of the German Wind Energy Association (BWE), and Meinhard Geiken, head of the coastal region’s Industrial Union of Metalworkers (IG Metall), express concern that the roll-out of wind energy will slow considerably in the coming years. They argue current government plans to reform renewable auctions and the pending reform of the Renewable Energy Act would mean cutting the wind power market in half, with serious effects on companies and their employees. “It’s incredible that the global community agrees in Paris to stabilise the climate, while Germany changes into reverse gear,” argues Geiken.

Find the CLEW Energiewende Outlook for 2016 here.



“Government’s energy policy a botch job”

Germany’s Energiewende has not achieved a single one of its three core objectives – being economical, securing the security of supply and protecting the climate, according to Werner Wenning, E.ON’s chairman of the board. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, which was picked up by press agency dpa, Wenning said the government’s energy policy was a “botch job.” Wenning said the government urgently needed to address the unsolved issue of a final nuclear repository. He said no company could shoulder risks that might materialise in 100 or 150 years.

Find the dpa article in German on the website of business daily Handelsblatt here.

Read the CLEW dossier on the nuclear phase out here.

“What happens during windstorms in Germany?”

The November wind power record shows what’s in store for the conventional power sector, which will increasingly have to cut power generation because of wind and solar, writes Craig Morris on A 20 percent share of renewable power within a 24 hour period, which was once thought hard to reach by 2020, “has become hard to fall below in 2015. If that isn’t a positive note with which to end the year, I don’t know what is!”

Read Morris’ blog post here.  


pv-magazine 2015

“Photovoltaic highlights 2015”

For the photovoltaic sector, the highlights of 2015 included the hype about Tesla’s move into the household battery market, the new auctions for large solar arrays, the continued collapse of the market in Germany, and the battle about the EU’s anti-dumping measures against Chinese pv producers, according to pv magazines' review of the year.

Find the month-by-month review in German here.  


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