Clean Energy Wire – Informed Comment Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion Sun, 03 Dec 2023 06:28:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Pre-COP Report: German Industry Investments in Climate Protection increased 74% over 10 years Sun, 03 Dec 2023 05:06:20 +0000 By Edgar Meza | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – German industry is increasingly investing in climate protection measures, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported just before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which kicked off on 30 November.

Climate protection investments in the manufacturing sector have increased by 74.3 percent over a decade. In 2021, manufacturers spent some 4.15 billion euros on systems to avoid emissions or use resources more sparingly, up from 2.38 billion in 2011. Legal regulations and government funding have contributed to the increase in investments, Destatis notes.

Nearly 50 percent of climate protection investments in 2021 — 2.04 billion euros [$2.22 bn.] — went to renewable energy sources, including wind turbines and photovoltaic systems.

Image by Melanie from Pixabay

Companies invested a further 1.63 billion euros ($1.77 bn) (39.2%) in increasing energy efficiency and energy saving, such as thermal insulation of buildings or systems with combined heat and power. The manufacturing and service sectors generated sales of 53 billion euros with climate protection products in 2021 – an 11.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

The solar sector saw the biggest sales increase in 2021 with a 24 percent boost (920 million euros) for a total of 4.8 billion euros. From 2011 to 2021, sales of climate protection products – such a solar PV arrays and insulation – rose 16 percent. Nearly 55 percent of sales, or 28.6 billion euros, came from measures to increase energy efficiency in 2021.

Thermal insulation of buildings contributed substantially, generating almost 10.2 billion euros [$11.1 bn.] in sales, while the manufacture and installation of wind turbines resulted in revenue of 11.8 billion euros [$12.8 bn.].

Meanwhile, the number of employees in “green jobs,” increased by 44 percent between 2011 and 2021.

German development bank KfW recently reported that climate protection investments by domestic companies in 2022 rose by 18 percent in real terms to 72 billion euros [$78.4 bn.].

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Germany adds 50% more Wind Power Year over Year as Approvals are Streamlined Wed, 18 Oct 2023 04:04:58 +0000 By Jack McGovan | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Germany has added 50 percent more new wind power capacity in the first nine months of 2023 than in the same time period last year, reports news agency dpa in an article published by the Stuttgarter Zeitung. Preliminary figures seen by dpa show that 518 new turbines were constructed between January and September, corresponding to an additional 2.4 gigawatts capacity.

Most of the expansion occurred in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, all northern states, following. However, 316 old turbines were shut down since January, leaving a net increase of 202 installations, with newer ones being much more efficient.

Part of the reason for the uptick is the increased rate of approval for new turbines, the agency reported. The first nine months of this year saw the approval of 976 turbines across the country, equivalent to an capacity increase of 77 percent.

Image by 12019 from Pixabay

According to the Fachagentur Windenergie, who provided the data, there have never been so many approvals during the time period in previous years.

Despite more approvals, the wind industry has said the country’s autobahn operator are sabotaging the roll-out of wind turbines by refusing the necessary permits to transport parts. Southern states are also slow to grow their wind industries, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz recently referring to their expansion as depressing.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Price Drops for Clean Technologies could become a Game Changer for Green Energy Transition Sat, 07 Oct 2023 04:02:20 +0000 By Carolina Kyllmann | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – The past decade has seen a sharp drop in prices for clean technologies, which means models identifying efficient pathways to reduce emissions could become subject to change.

Plummeting prices for solar and wind power generation, battery storage or heat pumps could make the energy transition take effect faster than previously expected, according to a report by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC).

“The fight against global warming remains an enormous political challenge – but at least new, cheaper ways are opening up,” the MCC said. During the past decade, solar power generation has become 87 percent and battery storage 85 percent cheaper, according to the institute.

While scenarios compatible with the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C are optimistic regarding the deployment of technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS), they don’t reflect the rates of technological learning and upscaling in renewables in the past decade, the researchers wrote.

There is now evidence “that fossil-free alternatives could become a game changer instead,” according to the MCC.

Article continues after bonus IC video
Vox: “0:02 / 6:30
How solar energy got so cheap”

“Greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the measures taken so far are too weak, but in this politically muddled situation, technological progress provides a ray of hope,” report co-author Jan Minx said.

New decarbonisation models could show that, in the foreseeable future, the global energy transition might be less costly than previously assumed and even help to save costs, Minx added.

The models informing pathways to reduce emissions “would benefit from updated cost assumptions . . . higher resolution on sector coupling, and an overall consideration of demand-side solutions,” the authors concluded.

Published under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)”

Via Clean Energy Wire

Germany Covers 52 percent of Electricity Consumption with Renewables so Far this Year Sat, 30 Sep 2023 04:04:43 +0000 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire) – Renewables covered more than half of Germany’s electricity consumption so far this year, according to calculations by utility association BDEW and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW). Between January and September, the amount of renewables in the electricity mix rose to around 52 percent – an increase of almost five percentage points compared to the same period last year.

“Between March and September, the share of renewable energies was consistently around 50 percent or more in every single month. The months of May and July were particularly strong, with a renewable share of 57 and 59 percent, respectively,” said BDEW and the ZSW.A decrease in Germany’s total power consumption helped push up the share of renewables, they added.

However, renewable energy generation also rose by almost 4 percent in absolute terms, reaching 199 billion kWh in the first three quarters of the year. In June, electricity generation from photovoltaics reached a new monthly record of 9.8 billion kWh – an increase of more than 16 percent compared to the same month last year.

Photo by Andreas Gücklhorn, German solar facility, on Unsplash

“These figures encourage us to tackle the next milestones. In particular, obstacles to the expansion of wind energy must be removed,” said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae.

She added that Germany urgently needed to install hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants to guarantee future power supply in times without wind or sunshine.

Germany is aiming for 80 percent renewable power in its electricity mix by 2030, with wind considered the most important source.

The increasing electrification of sectors that so far rely on other energy sources, especially heating and mobility, are likely to boost the total demand for electricity in the next few years while cutting fossil fuel use.

While the rollout of solar power has accelerated recently, the expansion of wind power in Germany remains off-track.

Published under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Via Clean Energy Wire

Climate Change Floods: Greece and Libya Dwarf Germany’s 2021 Disaster, Must Spur Action say Climate Researchers Sun, 24 Sep 2023 04:02:46 +0000 By Benjamin Wehrmann | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – The record rainfalls triggering deadly floods in Libya and Greece dwarf the precipitation that caused Germany’s 2021 flood catastrophe, and are a grim reminder of the need to act on and adapt to climate change, said German climate researcher Mojib Latif in an interview with public broadcaster BR.

“In the past week, we’ve measured rainfall volumes never seen before in Europe,” Latif said. “At times, this has been multiple times the volume we’ve seen in the Ahr Valley flood,” the researcher said, pointing to Germany’s worst floods catastrophe in decades that killed 135 people in the region and dozens more across Europe in 2021.

The heavy rains that fell “in a very, very short time” in the Mediterranean had become “a sort of Medicane” that can be attributed to climate change, the researcher from the GEOMAR marine research institute stressed. Latif said Europe has been complacent with respect to the damages expected from global warming for too long and needed to adapt quickly.

“I think this is beginning to change now,” he added. “We’re starting to see that climate change not only means higher temperatures, but especially more extreme weather, more potential for damage and above all a gigantic challenge for people’s health.”

The storm that hit several countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region had triggered unprecedented floods in northern Greece and killed more than 5,000 people in Libya alone.

The damages from torrential rains and floods, but also from forest fires, droughts, and storms have risen across Europe in the past years, leading the EU to call for a revision of disaster response funding that is starting to become overstretched by the number of incidents occurring in a short span of time. European countries are struggling to adapt to the fast-mounting challenges of a heating climate and are seeking strategies that allow to better cope with the effects natural disasters have on health, food production and economic stability.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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A Perfect Storm: Does China’s EV Dominance Threaten European Auto Makers on their Home Turf? Sun, 10 Sep 2023 04:02:18 +0000 By Sören Amelang | –

On the way from China to Europe: BYD electric car. Image by BYD
On the way from China to Europe: BYD electric car. Image by BYD

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Europe’s carmakers have little to celebrate at this year’s IAA mobility show. Chinese firms’ widening lead in the global shift to electric vehicles is on open display at the biennial fair in Munich, while climate activists lambast European firms’ reliance on dirty combustion engines and SUVs. The number of Chinese exhibitors has doubled, underlining their ambition to challenge brands like Volkswagen, BMW, Peugeot, Renault and Fiat on their home turf. Industry experts warn that these household names are facing a “perfect storm.” [UPDATE: IAA opening with Scholz address]

China’s rapid transformation into an electric car superpower that threatens Europe’s established carmakers even on their home turf is a dominant theme at this year’s IAA motor show in Bavaria’s capital Munich. The presence of Chinese companies has doubled at this year’s show, which is open to the public from 5 to 10 September, reflecting a tectonic shift in the global automobile industry.

“A perfect storm is brewing in Munich,” said Christian Hochfeld, who heads Berlin-based clean mobility think tank Agora Verkehrswende. “Established European carmakers are facing huge challenges.”

Hochfeld pointed to China’s lead in battery technology, digitalisation, competitiveness, and the automation of production. He also noted conventional carmakers’ dependence on fragile supply chains dominated by the East Asian country, both in raw materials and products like batteries and electronics. Additionally, carmakers are dealing with a sales crisis in Europe, high energy prices, and a skilled labour shortage, Hochfeld told Clean Energy Wire.

Stefan Bratzel, the director of the Center of Automotive Management, also warned against regarding conventional carmakers’ record profits as an indication of future success. “They might still be doing fine at the moment, but trouble is ahead,” Bratzel said.

“China is like a magnifying glass of the transition. What we will see on a global scale in the future can already be observed in China today,” Bratzel said. “Electrification and digitalisation are far more advanced than in Europe, and domestic competitors are very strong in China, especially in electric mobility. Established carmakers have their work cut out for them.”

As the world races to lower emissions in the fight against climate change, a rapidly growing number of countries and cities have already set phase-out dates for combustion engines. This shift has massive repercussions for the Europe’s car industry, whose success was built on this climate-damaging technology, and has been slow to switch to clean alternatives like electric vehicles.

The IAA promises a comprehensive view of mobility.
The IAA promises a comprehensive view of mobility.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attended the official opening, underlining the political significance of the show hosted by Germany’s car industry association VDA. In his opening address, he praised the nation’s carmakers, and said the competitiveness of Germany as a car country was “completely beyond question”.

The IAA is one of the world’s most important auto industry events, and has a history stretching back more than 100 years. Previously known as the Frankfurt auto show, the event rebranded to “IAA Mobility” in 2021 in the face of climate protests and declining interest from both industry and the public. The main novelty this year is the complete separation of these two target audiences. A traditional trade fair will cater exclusively to business visitors, while non-business visitors can check out various locations in Munich’s city centre free of charge.

Previous IAA shows had already shifted much of their focus to zero-emission mobility and have moved the attention from solely cars to other forms of transport like bikes and buses. The IAA says it “stands for a modern and comprehensive concept of mobility like no other event.”

Sales shock made in China

Recent trends in China, the world’s largest car market, provide deeply unsettling news for Europe’s auto industry, especially German brands. Accounting for more than a third of sales, the East Asian country is the most important market for BMW, Mercedes, and Volkswagen, including its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries. But the German brands’ success in China, which was built on combustion-engine prowess, is quickly eroding as the country switches rapidly to electric vehicles (EVs).  

VW recently lost its decades-old pole position in the Chinese market to domestic rival BYD (“Build Your Dreams”), which delivered almost 20 times more electric cars to customers in China than VW at the start of this year. Not a single European brand makes it into the top ten of China’s best-selling electric models. Four out of five electric vehicles sold in China are from domestic brands – only Tesla has a sizeable electric market share.

For the first time, Chinese carmakers are likely to outsell foreign brands in the overall Chinese auto market this year, including vehicles with internal combustion engines, according to management consultancy AlixPartners, who expect the domestic share to rise to 65 percent by 2030.

Rattled European carmakers fear Chinese “invasion”

“China is on its way to becoming an automotive superpower,” AlixPartners’ Fabian Piontek told DW. European manufacturers are increasingly finding themselves defending market share at home. “The era of record profits for German automakers is coming to an end,” he concluded. This shift is being felt even on a global scale, where BYD overtook BMW in the first half of year.

The Chinese newcomers are also starting to conquer the European market. Of new EVs sold on the continent this year, eight percent were made by Chinese brands – double the 2021 share, according to autos consultancy Inovev. Western automakers are rattled, with Carlos Tavares, the CEO of the Stellantis Group, which includes Peugeot and Fiat, warning of an “invasion” of cheap Chinese EVs in Europe.

The German car industry’s assessment is also sombre. “The Chinese car industry is massively supported by the state in terms of industrial policy, while our production costs are moving further and further out of line with international competitiveness. These are difficult conditions,” said the VDA lobby group’s head Hildegard Müller.

Volkswagen top executives also took a dim view on an internal conference call in July, people familiar with the event told the Wall Street Journal. A divisional chief told his colleagues that exploding costs, falling demand and new rivals such as Tesla and Chinese electric-car makers are making for a “perfect storm,” adding: “The roof is on fire.”

BMW CEO Oliver Zipse takes a slightly more upbeat view. Products made in China must be taken seriously but do not yet pose a significant threat to his company’s business, he told business daily Handelsblatt. “No one can enter a new market overnight,” Zipse said, arguing that “ambition does not equal success” when it comes to new potential rivals from China that attempt to gain a foothold in the European car market. “It remains to be seen how well the new players meet the requirements and tastes of European customers,” the manager said, explaining that digitalisation, logistics, maintenance services and many other factors played a role in customers satisfaction.

Chinese carmakers “are coming to stay”

China’s superiority in many industry trends, as well as its ambitions, are obvious at the IAA, where BYD and other Chinese brands unveil a whole range of electric models. “BYD is truly dedicated to introducing innovative and high-tech eco-friendly cars to the European market,” said Michael Shu, managing director of the company’s European division. “The IAA in Munich provides us with the perfect platform to showcase our latest BYD models … We head to the Munich motor show with great excitement.”

In a further sign of changing times, China held its own electric mobility trade show, the World New Energy Vehicle Congress (WNEVC), as part of the IAA – the first time the WNEVC takes place outside of China.

“It’s a strong signal clearly indicating the Chinese carmakers are coming, and they are coming to stay,” Hochfeld said. “They will probably become market leaders in certain segments in Europe. That will be the new normal.”

Nio is another Chinese newcomer marketing its cars to European clients. Image by Nio
Nio is another Chinese newcomer marketing its cars to European clients. Image by Nio

From entry level to premium

Gartner analyst Pedro Pacheco also highlighted the significance of the WNEVC. “Having the WNEVC come to the IAA in Munich is quite symbolic because we are starting to see Chinese automakers expanding more and more outside of China,” he told Automotive News Europe. He added the entry-level EVs are an obvious target for Chinese players, given that European brands have “next to nothing” on offer in this segment.

But Hochfeld warned that Chinese brands could also take a sizeable share of the premium market, as clients’ attention shifts from mechanical precision – a trademark of European luxury brands – to connectivity and entertainment, where Chinese brands are superior. Auto industry consulting firm Berylls already forecasts a “change of guard” in China’s premium segment. In the race with traditional luxury manufacturers from Germany, the Chinese are “overtaking on the fast lane,” Berylls said.

Problem child

The IAA is also shining a spotlight on the host country’s failure to make much headway in making mobility more climate friendly. Germany likes to consider itself a green pioneer due to its landmark energy transition. But the country has been struggling to lower transport emissions, which have remained broadly stable for decades, as gains from more efficient engines have been eaten up by heavier cars. The transition to low-emission mobility is often referred to as climate policy’s “problem child,” and is a particularly sensitive topic given that more than 800,000 German manufacturing jobs directly depend on the industry.

As a result, future mobility has already become an electoral topic in Germany. The Christian Democrats (CDU), who are in opposition on a federal level, as well as the Free Democrats (FDP), who are in a federal coalition government, are attempting to lure voters with pro-car policies. For example, the city of Berlin’s new CDU-led government coalition halted cycle lane projects earlier this year to preserve parking spaces, following a successful pro-car election campaign. In comparison to a rapidly growing number of other European cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona or Paris, Germany’s capital already lags far behind when it comes to sustainable mobility.

Under intense pressure from the FDP, the German government earlier this year insisted on exceptions for synthetic fuels in the EU push for climate-friendly cars, enraging European partners. These fuels made with renewable electricity could throw a lifeline to combustion engines, but are considered an unsuitable option by most experts, because they are highly inefficient compared to electric motors. Germany is also lagging on its own targets for the rollout of electric cars. “The current state of affairs signals that the German government’s target of 15 million electric vehicles in 2030 will be missed by 50 percent,” according to the Center of Automotive Management (CAR).

An activist alliance plans a protest camp and other actions at this year's IAA
An activist alliance plans a protest camp and other actions at this year’s IAA

Radical climate activists reject invitation

Against this backdrop, the IAA is accompanied by anti-industry and anti-government protests. Climate activists united under the label “BlockIAA” are calling for a large demonstration on 10 September. Additionally, about 1,500 activists are expected to participate in a “Mobility Transition Camp” in a central Munich park. It offers an alternative programme to the IAA’s that talks about “ways out of the fossil car trap” and “towards a mobility that benefits people instead of car industry shareholders,” according to organisers, which include well known activist movements Fridays for Future and Attac Germany, as well as smaller groups like “Sand im Getriebe” (roughly translated as “spanner in the works”), “No Future for IAA”, and “Smash IAA”.

“We are heading unchecked toward a climate catastrophe – and the car companies continue to press down on the gas pedal. More and more cars, ever larger and heavier, are clogging up the roads, taking away the air we breathe and heating up the climate. This has to stop now,” argue the organisers, who are also planning a bicycle demo and acts of civil disobedience. They accuse the IAA of “cluttering up our public spaces with token bicycles, greenwashed electric vehicles & braggy cars”.

In an attempt to channel climate protests, which have become something of an IAA tradition, the organisers offered an exhibition space to the relatively radical Last Generation group, which has become infamous for their road blockades in Germany. But the group, along with Greenpeace and Fridays for Future, rejected the invitation: “We are not available for such an obvious attempt to co-opt us.” The VDA has also tried to engage with other climate activists and critics of the event. For example, 21-year-old activist and UN advisor Sophia Kianni is scheduled to speak at the show on 6 September about the climate protection initiative she founded, Climate Cardinals.  

Clean Energy Wire

City of Berlin adopts $5.2 bilion Climate Protection Fund to Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependency Sat, 29 Jul 2023 04:02:16 +0000 By Jennifer Collins | –

Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel / RBB

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Berlin’s Senate has adopted a five-billion-euro climate protection fund to flow into mobility, energy efficiency in buildings, power supply and the economy. The goal of the fund, which could be doubled to 10 billion euros by 2026, is to improve climate protection, swiftly end dependency on fossil fuels and cut emissions faster in the German capital, according to Berlin’s governing coalition led by the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD).

“We’re still living with a 90-percent dependency on coal, gas and oil,” Manja Schreiner, the city’s CDU environment senator, told German public radio. Schreiner added that Berlin needs a “sustainable, integrated energy supply,” and that the focus will be on solar as well as on “properly promoting” geothermal energy, hydropower and waste heat from data centres as energy sources.

Article continues after bonus IC video
Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2023

The bill will now go for debate in the state parliament in the hope it will be passed by the end of the year. Tagesspiegel writes that if passed, the fund could end up being challenged in court because of Germany’s constitutional restrictions on government debt.

The country’s constitution does, however, allow for exceptions to the so-called “debt brake” in cases of “natural catastrophe or in extraordinary emergencies.” The CDU-SPD coalition says it sees the impact of climate change in Berlin, aggravated by the energy and cost-of-living crises as well as the Ukraine war, as an “emergency situation.”

The parties had initially mooted the fund during coalition negotiations in March, saying at the time that additional investments were needed to achieve climate neutrality in the buildings, transport and heating sectors.

Still, the CDU-SPD coalition has come under fire for halting new cycle lane projects in the city to save car parking spaces. A citizen-initiated referendum on making Berlin climate neutral by 2030, which failed in March, had also been criticised by the coalition parties.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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Game Over? Even BP and TotalEnergies are Shelling out $14.7 Bn. for Right to Build Baltic Sea Wind Farms Sat, 15 Jul 2023 04:02:14 +0000 By Sören Amelang | –

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Oil majors BP and TotalEnergies pledged to pay a combined 12.6 billion euros [$14.7 bn.] for the right to build wind farms in the North and Baltic seas in the world’s largest ever offshore wind auction. Environmentalists hailed the result as a “quantum leap” for the technology, as it showed how cheap renewables had become. The surprisingly high entry fee – described as “obscene” by an industry source – in the first tender of this kind in Germany reflects strong industry demand for green power. But it also triggered concerns that German industry might end up paying more than it would hope for the electricity generated in the new wind farms, and that fossil fuel giants with deep pockets could harm competition in the offshore market.

Multinational oil companies BP and TotalEnergies emerged as winners in Germany’s latest auction for the right to build offshore wind farms in the North and Baltic seas. The companies, which are headquartered in the UK and France, bid a combined 12.6 billion euros to construct turbines with a total capacity of 7 gigawatts (GW), roughly equivalent to 7 large conventional power stations, and almost equalling the country’s entire existing offshore capacity.

“The results confirm the attractiveness of investing in offshore wind energy in Germany,” said the head of Germany’s grid agency, Klaus Müller. “Competition in offshore wind power has never been so high.”

Müller added the results are a key step towards achieving Germany’s target to increase offshore wind power to 30 GW by 2030 – from around 8 GW installed today.

The auction marks the first time that investors pay for the right to build offshore wind parks in Germany. Three of the auctioned sites – each for building 2 GW of turbine capacity – are located around 120 km northwest of the island of Heligoland in the North Sea, and one with 1 GW lies in the Baltic Sea, some 25 km off the island of Ruegen.

Environmental NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) called the result a “quantum leap” for offshore wind energy. “Wind power at sea is now so economically attractive that project developers are outbidding each other for access to marine areas,” said DUH executive director Sascha Müller-Kraenner. “The fairy tale of expensive green electricity is thus finally off the table.”

The cost of constructing new offshore wind farms has fallen markedly in recent years, making the reliable technology one of the most profitable renewable power sources on the market. Germany plans to greatly increase its offshore capacity in a bid to reach its ambitious renewable power share target of 80 percent by the end of the decade.The auction results underline decreasing costs.

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

German offshore industry representatives said the prices paid by the oil companies were excessive, and could end up stifling competition. “The sums are obscene,” an industry source, who was part of a non-successful bid, told business daily Handelsblatt. It also reported that German utilities RWE and EnBW, Danish Orsted, and French EdF all submitted bids.

Industry experts said the results reflected increasing market pressure, as well as strong industry demand for green power – switching to renewables is a central component of companies’ decarbonisation plans. “It is not surprising that applicants are bidding money to win the bid. But the level of bids is quite remarkable,” Dirk Briese from the consultancy Wind Research told Handelsblatt. “The bidders know that electricity from green sources can be marketed very well and increasingly better in the future.”

BP said it would consume part of the electricity produced by the wind farms itself, for example in refineries, for hydrogen production, as well as the company’s e-car charging network, with the remainder going directly to industrial customers via so-called “Power Purchase Agreements” (PPAs).

Some experts and offshore industry representatives warned that investors will recoup their massive entrance fee by selling the electricity for a correspondingly high price, regardless of low generation costs. This could counteract efforts to lower power prices for industry by the government, which is currently weighing a plan to subsidise industry electricity to boost companies’ international competitiveness.

“The price is likely to be around ten cents [per kilowatt-hour] rather than the five cents the German government hopes to arrive at with the energy transition in the medium term,” wrote Steven Hanke in energy newsletter Tagesspiegel Background.

Proponents of the new auction procedure counter that 90 per cent of the 12.6 billion euros are to go towards lowering electricity costs by cutting grid fees, with the remainder to be spent on marine environment protection and sustainable fishing.

No breathing space for offshore wind industry?

The German engineering federation VDMA said the auction result proved that offshore wind can contribute significantly to lowering generation costs. But it added that the government made a mistake by sticking to the bidding procedure because it didn’t leave enough breathing space for the offshore industry. “Because in order to achieve the expansion targets in Germany and Europe, we need further investment in product innovations, in the scaling of production capacities, and in transport equipment and infrastructures.”

The German Foundation Offshore Wind Energy also said the auction design favoured market concentration to a few giant players with huge resources at their disposal. Director Karina Würtz said she “generally welcomed” the entry of the large oil and gas companies with their know-how and financial strength into the German offshore wind market, reported Tagesspiegel Background. But with a view to next year’s tender, she added: “If the auction design has not been revised by then, there is a danger of an oligopoly in the German offshore wind market, as the bidding levels and the already large project realisation risks can now only be shouldered and borne by a small group of companies.”

Via Clean Energy Wire

Published under a “ Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” .

Germany: Sales of Battery Powered EVS up 31% Year over Year in First Half of 2023 Sat, 08 Jul 2023 04:04:06 +0000 By Carolina Kyllmann | –

Clean Energy Wire / Zeit Online

( Clean Energy Wire ) – Car registrations in Germany have risen by 13 percent in the first half of 2023 – compared to the same period last year – with the number of newly registered electric vehicles increasing most significantly, according to data by the federal motor transport authority (KBA). Registrations for purely battery-powered cars increased by close to a third (31.7%) to slightly more than 220,000 in the first half of the year, compared to the first half of 2022.

Registrations in June alone saw a two third increase compared to the same month the previous year. Last year a shortage of components led to an order pileup, which is likely driving the numbers up, newspaper Zeit reports. Large fleet companies and car rental companies were the main reason for the increase in new registrations (almost 70%), while private car registrations increased only slightly.

However, the increasing popularity of electric vehicles did not cause the average CO₂ emissions of newly registered cars to fall in the first half of the year, according to the KBA.

The reason may lie in SUVs, which have also increased in popularity and are considered particularly harmful to the climate, according to Zeit.

Gasoline engine cars still account for the largest share of new registrations at 35.6 percent, while the market share for electric vehicles lies at 18.9 percent. Demand for diesel cars grew again to reach 16.7 percent.

The electrification of the transport sector is key for the energy transition: switching combustion engine cars for electric vehicles is set to make a big contribution in reducing emissions in the sector, as they have remained stubbornly high for years.

Via Clean Energy Wire

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