New Safe Confinement under construction at Chernobyl in 2013. Photo: Ingmar Runge - CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia.

Wind power firms inflating / Smart under suspicion / Minister in Chernobyl

Handelsblatt

“To inflate or to die”

Nordex, the small Danish wind turbine manufacturer, has confirmed the takeover of the wind branch of the Spanish group Acconia. The cartel authorities have no objections to the 785 million euro deal, which is only one of several current fusions in the sector, according to the Handelsblatt’s Franz Hubik. With Siemens looking to acquire their competitor Gamesa, and Vestas having already bought maintenance specialist Availon, small players are increasingly at risk of fading compared to their bigger rivals. The reasons, writes Hubik, are the slowing down of the whole sector in the coming years on the one hand, and a change of the governmental incentive regimes on the other. With the move away from the feed-in tariffs towards an auction-based system, the big players will have the advantage.

Read the article in German here.

 

HSH Nordbank

“Onshore wind power: Sector invests more in Europe”

The German renewables sector is remaining optimistic despite the new auction system due in 2017, the HSH Nordbank has found in a market study that polled 80 renewables companies. The companies expect increasing sales volumes for 2016, mostly because of investments brought forward because of the policy changes, and also by investing more in other European countries. More than half of the companies expect the annual growth target of 2.5 gigawatt onshore wind power by 2025 to be reached.

Read the press release in German here and download the study here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about the change from feed-in tariffs to auctions for renewables in Germany here.

 

Tagesspiegel

“Smart under suspicion”

The non-profit environmental and consumer protection association Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) accuses the German government of holding back information connected to the VW emissions scandal, writes Henrik Mortsiefer in Der Tagesspiegel. The ministry was too hesitant in giving out details about its investigations, says the DUH. It also portrays Alexander Dobrindt, Federal Minister of Transportation, as a “puppet on the strings of the auto bosses”. Daimler’s Smart is also facing accusations of manipulated emission values. The ministry, as well as the car manufacturer Daimler, reject the accusations.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on the transport sector in the energytransition here.

 

Ministry for Environment

Environment minister visits Chernobyl

Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks is visiting the Chernobyl site in Ukraine. She will pay tribute to the victims of the nuclear catastrophe 30 years ago and inspect the building of the “New Safe Confinement” (NSC) cover for the damaged block 4 of the reactor. The NSC is largely paid for by the G7 and other countries that have contributed over 2 billion euros to make the site more secure, the environment ministry said in a press release. “Thirty years ago we learned in a horrifying way what risks are connected to the use of nuclear energy. To this day people in Ukraine are burdened with coping with its disastrous aftermath,” Hendricks said.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about the history of Germany’s nuclear phase-out here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Saving and dreaming”

EnBW, Germany’s third largest utility, is struggling with the Energiewende just like its larger competitors E.ON and RWE, writes Varinia Bernau in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Unlike them, however, EnBW is not considering spinning off its renewables branch from the nuclear and fossil fuelled generation. CEO Frank Mastiaux instead wants to better connect the branches so that the two energy worlds come up with new ideas together. EnBW wants to produce 40 percent of its power from renewables, mainly wind turbines, by 2020. The share today is at almost 24 percent. Some 20 percent of the earnings at EnBW are to come from the natural gas sector in the future. The idea is that in 2022, when the last nuclear power plant is going offline and more coal plants have been mothballed, gas-fired stations will be in demand again.

See a CLEW dossier on the utilities in the energy transition here.

 

PV magazine / Trend:research

“Market for photovoltaics in Germany till 2025”

Germany will have an annual addition of PV capacity of 2.6 gigawatt between 2015 and 2025, according to a new study by market researchers Trend:research. The researchers looked at three scenarios in which different outcomes depend mainly on the framework conditions and targets set by the government. Even if PV development had lost some of its dynamic of the previous years, there was still potential for new business models, the study finds. Smaller installations used for own consumption and in connection with battery storage could particularly benefit in the future.

Read a PV magazine article on the study in German here.

Read the trend:research press release and buy the study in German here.

 

MP Jürgen Trittin

History of the nuclear phase-out in Germany

Germany’s nuclear energy history was one of errors, said Jürgen Trittin, head of the commission on financing the nuclear clean-up and member of the Bundestag for the Green Party, in a speech at the Nuclear Phase Out Congress in Zurich. Mistakes include the believe that nuclear power was safe, clean and cheap, and thinking that the problem of nuclear waste storage could be resolved during the operating time of the reactors. The list of errors is topped by the most recent misconception of the large utilities: that their nuclear power plants would remain “money printing machines” until the end.

Read the speech with graphs in German here.

 

Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV)

“One in five tested household appliances use more power than stated”

18 out of 100 tested household appliances, such as electric kettles, fridges, microwaves, TVs and vacuum cleaners, use more energy than stated by the manufacturers, the EU funded project “MarketWatch” has found. These appliances were not adhering to EU efficiency rules which was costing private households over 10 billion euros annually across the EU, the VZBV, who together with Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), led the MarketWatch project in Germany, found.

See the VZBV press release in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on efficiency in the energy transition here.

 

Deutsche Welle

“German taxpayers association hits out at e-car waste”

Germany's association of taxpayers (BdSt) heavily criticises budgets for governmental environment projects as money spent not effectively in this year’s “Spring Cleaning” report. In an article by Deutsche Welle, BdSt spokesman Reiner Holznagel accuses the German government of “not following a coherent plan” when funding projects, as well as handing out taxpayers’ money to the wrong people. Car-maker Porsche, for example, had received six million euros from the Education and Research Ministry to develop a luxury e-car – spending that is also criticised by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND), according to Deutsche Welle.

Read the article in English here.

 

Greenpeace

“The Great Water Grab”

Coal-fired power stations use up drinking water for one billion people worldwide, a Greenpeace study has found. The study looked at the water consumption of 8,400 coal plants around the world. It found in a case study that the coal industry in Poland is responsible for 70 percent of the total water withdrawal in the country – the highest percentage of withdrawal in the world. In Germany, the coal sector uses 18 percent of the water and across the EU 13 percent.

Read the study in English here.

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