Clean Energy Wire – Informed Comment https://www.juancole.com Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion Fri, 05 Aug 2022 02:56:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.6 Germany gets 20% of its Electricity from the Sun: July marks third monthly Solar Power output Record https://www.juancole.com/2022/08/germany-electricity-monthly.html https://www.juancole.com/2022/08/germany-electricity-monthly.html#respond Fri, 05 Aug 2022 04:04:57 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=206177 By Edgar Meza | –

Referencing: Germany’s “PV Magazine”.

Photovoltaic systems in Germany generated a new record level of electricity in the month July 2022, the pv magazine reported.

Solar PV arrays produced 8.23 ​​terawatt hours (TWh) of power, accounting for roughly one fifth of the country’s net electricity generation and also marking the third record month in a row for photovoltaics, according to data from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).

Only Germany’s lignite-fired power plants generated more electricity that month, at almost 9 TWh for a 21.9 percent share. The country’s total renewables share reached 50.6 percent in July. In May PV generation reached a new high of 7.7 TWh and in June, PV power exceeded the 8 TWh-mark for the first time.

“It’s quite unusual for photovoltaic systems to generate more electricity than in June, but it helped keep the electricity price stable,” commented Bruno Burger, head of the Fraunhofer ISE’s Energy-Charts.

At some 315 [$323] euros per megawatt hour (MWh), however, the day-ahead exchange price for electricity was around eight times higher than a year ago. German electricity prices are currently in the European mid-range, higher than the 115 [$117.66] euros per MWh in Sweden but below the more than 400 euros [$409] per MWh currently prevailing in France.

The German government is aiming to increase solar PV installations to a total of 22 GW [gigawats] per year as of 2026 and to achieve a total capacity of 215 GW by 2030, up from about 60 GW in 2021.

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Germany: Löwenbräu, other Beer Brands to be Made with Wind and Solar as Russian Gas Turns Unreliable https://www.juancole.com/2022/07/lowenbrau-russian-unreliable.html Sat, 30 Jul 2022 04:06:39 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=206078 By Hannah Naylor | –

inFranken.de / Süddeutsche Zeitung

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Bavarian breweries concerned about possible gas shortages are developing contingency plans to avoid a complete halt of beer production, reports regional news website inFranken.de. Munich breweries are considering switching to other energy sources, such as oil or renewables, but these transitions are unlikely to be straightforward and will take time and planning.

In most cases, gas is the main source of energy for brewing beer, and so brewers worry that if gas supplies from Russia do not approach previous levels, production could come to a standstill. “It would be naturally catastrophic for our company and our consumers”, Steffen Marx, founder of Giesinger Bräu, told the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Brewery Hofbräu München is also considering a switch to oil, while the Franziskaner, Spaten and Löwenbräu breweries aim for a transition to renewables.

Other supplies, such as bottles and labels, are also under pressure, Michael Huber from Western German Veltins brewery, told the Handelsblatt newspaper. He recommended to the beer industry to “scale back our demands and live with low margins”. The countries brewery association has already called for a beer price increase of 30 percent, according to the article.

Germany remains highly dependent on Russian gas imports and is struggling to diversify its supplies. Deliveries through the vital Nord Stream 1 pipeline resumed last week after maintenance, but at only around 40 percent full capacity.

The government said Germany cannot rely on Russia for its future gas supplies, and has intensified preparations for a gas emergency.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Quest for Energy Independence set to boost Germany’s Energy Transition https://www.juancole.com/2022/07/independence-germanys-transition.html Sat, 23 Jul 2022 04:06:38 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=205939 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Germany’s push for energy independence triggered by the Ukraine war could boost the country’s emission reduction efforts in the medium term, as well as economic growth and employment, says a report by Allianz Trade.

“The race to energy sovereignty sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could push Germany’s green transition well past the finish line,” the credit insurer said. “Despite the increased use of coal for electricity generation in the short term, the EU [emissions trading system] ETS will limit additional emissions, and coal is still on track to be phased out by 2030. In the medium term, Germany’s ambitious new targets should push the renewable energy share of its electricity mix even beyond what would be needed to meet the Paris climate goals by 2035.”

But the target of a fourfold increase in renewables capacity “requires a paradigm shift in core areas of the electricity system,” including a simplification, acceleration and closer coordination of planning and approval procedures for renewables, electricity and hydrogen networks, Allianz Trade argues.

Germany’s additional coal use will increase CO2 prices in the EU ETS, thus reducing emissions in other industries covered by emissions trading, the analysis states. Given high emissions prices, “it is very unlikely that coal will overstay its welcome as a substitute for Russian gas; it will be priced out of the market.”

The planned renewables expansion will provide a large economic stimulus of 40 billion euros of value-added per year until 2035 and employ an average of 440,000 workers in Germany alone, according to the report.

The gas supply crisis has prompted Germany to prepare for a possible supply halt or severe reduction of deliveries from Russia by paving the way for a reactivation of coal plants and curbing power production in gas plants, triggering fears of an emissions increase.

Deutsche Bank warned last week that the gas supply crisis will push the German economy into recession next year.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Germany Pushes joint Effort to become Climate-neutral Aviation ‘Pioneer’ https://www.juancole.com/2022/06/germany-climate-aviation.html Sun, 26 Jun 2022 04:02:11 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=205418 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – The German government has launched a new push to make the country an international leader in sustainable aviation. “With a joint effort by industry, science, politics and society, Germany can become an international pioneer on the road to climate-neutral aviation,” said a government paper published at the start of the Berlin International Airshow (ILA). “In a ‘business as usual’ scenario, global air traffic volume doubles every 15 years.

This further intensifies the need to act now.” The government said it wants to boost the use of new “post-fossil” and renewable fuels, more efficient technologies, the use of alternative propulsion systems, as well as alternatives to flying short and medium distances. The paper stresses that the non-CO2 effects of flying – mainly caused by airplanes’ condensation trails – have to be taken into account to ensure climate targets can be met.

“A key objective of the German government’s joint paper on climate-neutral aviation is the climate-neutral production, operation and maintenance of aircraft, which we are consistently working towards, for example, in the areas of hybrid and electric propulsion systems and modern hydrogen technologies,” the paper states.

The government is focusing its research and development support on technologies that can contribute to lower aviation’s climate impact, it adds. The government also said it will work on the European and international level towards a joint framework to support the market ramp-up of sustainable aviation fuels, which will involve blending quotas, but also questions regarding emissions trading and other instruments such as the finance taxonomy.

Aviation’s share of emissions is on the rise as the sector recovers from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and progress on low-emission flying has been slow.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) last year presented a strategy for future emission-free aviation, while the country’s aviation industry tabled a joint master plan to bring air transport more in line with climate protection and commit companies in the sector to the goal of CO2-neutral air transport in late 2020.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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German Economy & Climate Minister’s visit to Israel & Palestine focused on Renewable Tech not just Replacing Russian Natural Gas https://www.juancole.com/2022/06/ministers-palestine-replacing.html Sat, 11 Jun 2022 04:04:38 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=205140 By Kerstine Appunn | –

Germany’s economy and climate minister has arrived in Israel for talks about bilateral energy cooperation, with a focus on developing renewable energies rather than short-term deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace shipments from Russia, German public broadcasters ZDF and ARD reported. Israel has large natural gas reserves but no LNG terminal.

“I have made it clear that Germany needs natural gas now to diversify from Russian supplies, but less so in the medium term,” minister Robert Habeck (Green Party) said. Gas infrastructure that is ready in seven or nine years would come at a time when Germany “will very quickly detach itself from fossil energies again,” he said.

A short-term fix could be shipping gas from Israel that arrives in Egypt via pipeline to Germany from an Egyptian LNG port.

In the longer run, cooperation with the region would focus on renewable energies, Habeck stressed. The minister planned to continue his tour to the region in the Palestinian territories and then in Jordan.

Since the beginning of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine, Germany has been struggling to replace crucial gas imports from Russia. Having reduced its dependency from around 55 percent to around 35 percent between February and April 2022,

Germany has tasked the climate minister with finding new sources of the fossil gas and his quest has resulted in a new energy deal with the emir of Qatar. Natural gas makes up about a quarter of the Germany’s energy consumption (26.7% in 2021) and is mostly used for heating and in industry.

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Article continues after bonus IC video
Nahost-Reise: Vizekanzler Habeck in Israel | BR24

In German but the Google Translate app on smartphones can be set to microphone and will translate the audio in this clip.

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Majority of Germans favor higher top Tax Rate to finance Climate Protection – Poll https://www.juancole.com/2022/05/majority-germans-protection.html Sun, 22 May 2022 04:08:38 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=204769 By Edgar Meza | –

( Clean Energy Wire) – Some 66 percent of German households are in favour of raising the top tax rate to finance climate action, according to a survey conducted by the ifo Institute in cooperation with the forsa opinion research institute. Researchers asked households about their preferences with regard to financing climate change policies.

“The majority of respondents are skeptical about shifting costs into the future through debt-financed climate protection,” the institute stated. Around 45 percent of respondents support a CO2 sales tax; 37 percent prefer a tax on the winners of climate change; and 22 percent are in favour of private insurance for any damage caused by climate change.

The idea of financing climate change policies through public debt received the least support, with only 14 percent in favour.

The institute noted that governments could influence public support for greater climate action by highlighting various policy aspects.

“It turns out that considerations of fairness play an important role in people’s approval of a financing measure,” said ifo researcher Sascha Möhrle.

For example, support for a CO2 sales tax increased among respondents who were informed that high-income households emit more CO2. “Having a broad picture of sentiment is important to be able to identify measures that the general public will accept,” said Florian Neumeier, head of the ifo Institute’s Taxation and Fiscal Policy research group. Some 15,000 German households took part in the survey.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Renewables provide 50% of German electricity in 1st quarter ’22 as Berlin Seeks Escape from Russian Gas https://www.juancole.com/2022/05/renewables-electricity-consumption.html Sat, 14 May 2022 04:02:24 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=204621 By Edgar Meza | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Renewable energy sources accounted for 50 percent of electricity consumption in Germany in the first quarter of 2022 – around nine percentage points more than in the same period last year, according to a report by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) and the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).

A total of around 73.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity were generated from wind energy, solar energy, hydroelectric power and other renewable energy sources between January and March. Renewables were unusually strong in the first two months of the year. Stormy weather in February led to a renewables share of 62 percent. In January it was 47 percent. March saw less wind but more hours of sunshine, resulting in a 41 percent share.

“The increase in the share of renewables in electricity consumption is encouraging, but it shouldn’t hide the fact that the expansion of wind and solar energy is currently far too sluggish,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. “In order to quickly become independent of Russian energy imports, we urgently need to speed up the expansion of renewable energy sources.”

Andreae called for more efficient planning and approval legislation in order to implement wind turbine and photovoltaic plant projects more quickly as well as an expansion of the power grid. “It must not happen that renewable electricity is lost because we lack grids,” she added.

Germany wants to fight the climate crisis and its heavy dependence on fossil fuel imports by speeding up the rollout of renewables with a massive overhaul of key energy legislation.

In the “biggest energy policy reform in decades,” the coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats (FDP) recently proposed to lift the rollout of wind and solar power “to a completely new level”.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Via Clean Energy Wire

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45% of New Cars in Germany Non-Gasoline Vehicles, 25% EVs https://www.juancole.com/2022/04/germany-gasoline-vehicles.html Sat, 23 Apr 2022 04:02:26 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=204247 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Almost half of all new cars registered in Germany earlier this year were equipped with alternative fuel engines. The share of newly registered battery electric, hybrid, fuel cell, gas and hydrogen cars rose to 44.5 percent in the first quarter, an increase of more than 18 percent compared to the same period last year, the country’s motor transport authority (KBA) said.

Purely battery-electric vehicles (BEV) reached a share of 13.4 percent, an increase of more than 35 percent. Including plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars, around a quarter of new cars count as electric, according to the government’s classification.

Around 51 percent of new electric vehicles, including plug-ins, were made by German carmakers. The share of newly registered alternative drive Audis rose to almost 71 percent in the company’s fleet, and the respective figures were 66 percent for BMW and 54 percent for Mercedes.

Article continues after bonus IC video

In contrast, the share of alternative drive systems in the new VW fleet dropped more than a third to 15 percent and in the Porsche fleet by almost a fifth to 23 percent.

In 2021, pure electric cars reached a share of 14 percent in all new registrations and hybrid cars (including plug-in hybrids) 29 percent.

In Germany, purchases of purely electric cars are supported with up to 9,000 euros and buyers of plug-in hybrid cars receive up to 6,750 euros in support. The government spent over three billion euros on supporting e-car sales in 2021.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Electric Cars let German Consumers Save Huge on Gasoline, Cut Russian Oil – Greenpeace https://www.juancole.com/2022/04/electric-consumers-greenpeace.html Sun, 03 Apr 2022 04:06:32 +0000 https://www.juancole.com/?p=203838 By Edgar Meza | –

( Clean Energy Wire) – Electric vehicles can save up to 300 euros [$331] a month compared to cars with diesel and petrol engines, according to a cost analysis report by Greenpeace. Despite temporary tax cuts on fuel prices, new combustion engines are cost traps when considering high long-term fuel prices, the NGO argues.

Anyone who buys a Volkswagen ID.3 electric car instead of the carmaker’s combustion engine-powered Golf 2.0 TSI saves around 180 euros [$198] per month assuming 15,000 kilometres [9320 mi.] are travelled per year, the group notes in its analysis.

Compared to VW’s diesel SUV Tiguan 2.0 TDI, the savings are considerably more at around 290 euros [$320]. Greenpeace’s calculations also take into account the federal government’s recent reductions in energy prices. Without the tax cuts on fuel, which are limited to three months, the savings potential is even higher.

“Anyone who still buys a combustion-engine car today is chaining Germany to oil suppliers like Russia and ignoring the fact that clean solutions can save a lot of money,” says Greenpeace traffic expert Benjamin Stephan. “No one should count on petrol prices dropping significantly once the war in Ukraine ends. Now is the right time to phase out the climate-damaging combustion engine — for the EU and for each individual.”

Greenpeace’s analysis calculates the total costs of various mobility options for different household sizes on the basis of data from German automobile association ADAC and from a mobility survey commissioned by the Ministry of Transport.

More than 85 percent of the 2.6 million new cars registered in Germany in 2021 were combustion-engine vehicles. Interest in electric vehicles in Germany is nevertheless growing rapidly and the current crisis could bolster the trend. In response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the German government is aiming to cut oil imports from Russia by 50 percent this year.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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