Library filed under Energy Policy from Germany
In order to give new impetus to wind energy, the conditions for expansion must be relaxed in Germany. Economics Minister Peter Altmaier has spoken out in favor of a simpler and faster procedure for the approval of wind turbines. There is a need for faster procedures and other rules in terms of nature conservation, he says to the «Wirtschaftswoche». In the future, permits should be granted within one year whenever possible. In addition, it is not individual animals that need to be protected from the rotors, according to Altmaier, but only animal species as a whole. Otherwise the energy transition will not succeed.
In the Free State of Bavaria there is almost nothing going on when it comes to wind power. According to a report by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, the expansion has been almost zero for several years. The share of wind energy in electricity production is now even declining. "Wind power is dead in Bavaria" "complained the Green politician Martin Stümpfig.
The social consequences of expanding the ETS means the upcoming reform is already proving to be one of the most sensitive and contested parts of the EU’s radical decarbonisation agenda. Claude Turmes, Luxembourg’s environment minister, says his government will oppose any extension to cover cars and buildings because it “risks penalising lower income parts of the population”. At a summit in Brussels in May, EU leaders from poorer eastern countries also warned that their citizens — many of whom cannot easily afford to ditch their diesel-powered cars or switch heating systems in rented accommodation — will suffer the ill-effects.
The German government’s latest attempt to attract investment in onshore wind farms fell flat, according to the results of tenders for renewables published on Friday (30 April), marking another episode in a series of undersubscribed tenders for wind power.
Rather, the new cost driver on consumers' electricity bills is network charges. In the course of the energy transition, network operators have to build reserve power plants and keep them operational, compensate market participants for line bottlenecks and erect thousands of kilometers of extra-high voltage lines. The West German electricity network operator Amprion has just doubled its investment volume for the next ten years to 24 billion euros. "The increased network usage charges and the increase in value added tax have led to this noticeable burden," says Lasse Schmid, Managing Director Energy at Check24: "The minimal reduction in the EEG surcharge cannot compensate for that."
The assumptions of the Ministry of Economic Affairs regarding security of supply for electricity are "partly too optimistic and partly implausible", criticize the auditors. The ministry also did not examine a scenario in which several foreseeable factors coincide that could jeopardize security of supply. So it could be that the network expansion is delayed and at the same time the cross-border transmission capacity is restricted. The Federal Ministry of Economics argues that “a stacking of various disadvantageous scenarios is not sensible according to the state of the technical discussion”. However, the examiners found this objection “not convincing”. Further uncertainties would arise from the increasing demand for electricity for the electrification of transport and for the production of the energy carrier hydrogen in electrolysis plants. The auditors therefore do not share the assumption of the federal government that electricity demand will remain more or less stable until 2030.
Large amounts of intermittent electricity create huge swings in supply which the grid has to be able to cope with. The issue isn’t confined to Europe. Australia has had teething problems in the transition to a cleaner network. Wind power was blamed for a blackout in 2016 that cut supply to 850,000 homes. The nation is looking to storage as a solution and was the first country to install a 100 megawatt megabattery in 2017.
Providing areas for onshore wind and permitting will continue to hamper Germany’s energy transition despite some improvements achieved in the recent amendment of the country’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG), wind energy federation BWE said in an analysis.
Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has approved an amendment to the country’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG) that aims at reaching 65% of renewables in the country’s power mix by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
The federal government wanted to make the construction of new wind power and solar plants a question of national security by law. However, after opposition was expressed over the idea the controversial amendment to the energy transition law was dropped.
Government and industry today began talks about what to do with 16GW of onshore wind capacity due to exit Germany's old support scheme by 2025
The Nordlink cable between Norway and Germany is scheduled to be put into trial operation in December, while testing of IT and trading solutions will start as early as September. Both Statnett and the government are therefore working to reach a solution with the German energy authorities. But why will Germany not use a cable that they themselves have helped to build? They want to use the opposite route and export power to Norway when they have negative prices.
Berlin Olaf Lies expects the worst. Lower Saxony's energy and environment minister, together with the consulting firm Windguard, had the experts at his company determine the extent to which wind farms could go offline in the coming years because the subsidies for the systems according to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) will end. From the point of view of the SPD politician, the results are alarming: "We are heading for a catastrophe," Lies told the Handelsblatt.
The construction of wind farms in Norway is booming. And German investors are behind many projects. Sami interests are ignored.
Germany’s grand coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) on Monday (18 May) agreed on the abolition of the solar cap and an “opt-out solution” for a standard distance for wind turbines. This is a decisive milestone for the expansion of renewable energy in Germany, EURACTIV Germany reports.
Those who continue to demand pricing of CO2 emissions will intensify the recession and torpedo the planned stimulus package. The shutdown gives us an impression of what deindustrialization means. The aim now is to prevent mass unemployment ...at some point [Merkel] has to explain that the climate protection plans drawn up during full employment no longer exist.
The growing mismatch between Germany’s renewables capacity and the strength of its electricity network is leading to curtailment, crazy pricing and challenges for neighboring nations. Although Germany is generating record amounts of clean energy in the north, its grid is too weak to transport all the power down to load centers in the south — a longstanding challenge for the country that's only getting worse.
The renewables industry is demanding Chancellor Angela Merkel ends an impasse over a damaging planned distance rule for onshore wind and a cap on support for solar power. Both issues were supposed to be tacked at a meeting today with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states, but energy issues were adjourned due to pressing discussions on the Coronavirus.
“The industry estimates that, given that power demand is growing, an expansion (of onshore wind) by 5,000 MW per year is essential in order to reach the 65% target by 2030,” they said in a joint statement. Their data showed operators installed only 1,078 megawatts (MW) of new onshore capacity in 2019.
Power prices in Germany are among the highest in Europe, not least due to the costs arising from the launch of renewable energy sources – but many customers continue to support the country's energy transition regardless. While wholesale electricity prices on average have been in decline in recent years, surcharges, taxes, and grid fees raise the bill for Germany's private households and small businesses. However, market observers say that power costs are often not even high enough for customers to look for cheaper alternatives.