18 Dec 2015
Kerstine Appunn Ruby Russell

Winners and losers in green power / Concerns over costs

Federation of German Consumer Organisations

“Consumers remain paymasters of the Energiewende in 2016”

A new survey shows that two thirds of German consumers are sceptical that the government can manage to keep the costs of the Energiewende fair and equitable, the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) says in a press release. 66 percent of respondents to the survey did not believe the SPD/CDU coalition government would successfully manage the Energiewende while keeping energy and electricity costs affordable, down from 73 percent last year, but up from 59 percent in 2013. 42 percent of consumers would prefer it if costs for the energy transition (e.g. for new power lines or renewable development) were paid for with tax money while 44 percent prefer financing the Energiewende through the power price as currently the case.

See the press release and survey in German here.

See a CLEW factsheet on household power prices here.



“Who wins and loses with green power”

WirtschaftsWoche reports on research by the Rhineland-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI) looking at who benefits from Germany’s green energy surcharge under the Renewable Energy Act (EEG). The EEG has supported the development of solar power, whose capacity has increased six fold since 2008, Fabian Ritters writes, by guaranteeing feed-in tariffs for renewable power producers. Researchers posed the questions as to whether the system meant installing solar roof panels amounted to a “license to print money,” Ritters says. Consumers who installed a home PV installation in 2010 could be expected to have seen an average return of 12.73 percent on their investment within three years, the research found. RWI economists said this raises questions over who carries the financial burden, since households installing such systems tend to be more affluent, while the EEG surcharge that pays for the feed-in tariffs is added to all consumers’ bills, Ritters says.


Frankfurter Rundschau

“Good chances for RWE”

RWE stands a good chance of being awarded millions of euros in compensation for being forced to decommission its Biblis nuclear power plant in 2011, the Frankfurter Rundschau reports. The case opened at the Essen District Court on Thursday. The utility is claiming 235 million euros in damages and declined a settlement of 50 million euros proposed by the judge. The trial is expected to be a lengthy one, the Frankfurter Rundschau reports.

See the article in German here.

See CLEW’s factsheet on legal disputes over the nuclear phase-out here.



“Power line from Thuringia to northern Bavaria goes into operation”

Grid operator TenneT has announced that a new high-voltage power line to bring electricity from Thuringia in east Germany to Bavaria in the south went into partial operation on Thursday, “strengthening regional security of supply in north Bavaria”. The new power connection will help to limit costly grid management measures as bottlenecks will be reduced, TenneT said.

See the press release in German here.

See CLEW’s dossier on the German power grid here.



“Way clear for the Nordlink sea cable”

Legal obstacles to the construction of the Nordlink under-sea power cable between Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and Tonstad in Norway have been cleared, dpa reports, after complaints put before the Federal Administrative Court were withdrawn. The 640-kilometre cable, which is to transport excess power from wind farms in northern Germany for storage in Norwegian pumped hydropower storage plants in Norway, is due for completion in 2020.

See the article in German here.


BAFA: Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control

"Fewer companies apply for exemption from renewables surcharge"

For the year 2016, 2,301 energy intensive companies have applied for an exemption from paying the renewables surcharge on the power price for a usage of 116 terawatt-hours (TWh), the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) reports. This is down from 2,462 for 2015. The number of energy-intensive companies that have applied to be partially exempt from paying the renewable surcharge also decreased slightly in 2015, the BAFA says.

Read the BAFA press release in German here.  

See CLEW's dossier on the impact of the Energiewende on business here.


German Federal Statistics Office (Destatis)

“Manufacturing industry raised investment in renewable energy by a third in 2013”

Investments in environmental protection by the manufacturing sector – excluding construction – amounted to 7.5 billion euros in 2013, or 10.3 percent of all investments, according to figures released by the German Federal Statistics Office. Investment in renewable energy rose by a third compared to the previous year, (32.1 percent) to 1.4 billion euros.

See the press release and figures in German here.

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Kerstine Appunn

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