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mercredi 31 décembre 2014

Importance of renewable power generation in the German energy mix

Hi Readers,
You will find in this blog articles translated from the French press about the energy sector in France and European countries. The posts will appear twice a week. They cover the oil and gas sector, together with the nuclear and renewables ones. There are also additional resources. Enjoy reading.

"Les Échos", DEC. 31st

In Germany, renewable generated power ranks first

THIBAUT MADELIN  CORRESPONDENT IN BERLIN – ON DEC. 29th

In 2014, renewables accounted for 25,8% of the power production in Germany. Nevertheless, lignite and hard coal generation rank first together

In 2014, according to the figures released by the power industry Federation (BDEW, German acronym) Monday, renewables became the first source of power generation in Germany.Renewables part in the energy mix reached a 25,8% record, after a 24,1% level in 2013. Thus renewables rank first before lignite and hard coal, accounting for 25,6% and 18% respectively. Both coals represent nonetheless the first source of power generation and account for 46,6% of power in Germany.
According to the federation, “carrying on developing regenerative plants combined with mild temperatures explain why renewables reached such record”. Whereas wind energy hardly progresses and hydraulics even reduce, solar production increases by nearly 14%. But the relative growth of green energies in the German “mix” comes mainly from a production and consumption reduction, because of particularly mild winter temperatures. To date, production decreased from 3,6%, amounting to 610,400 gigawatt-hours. These figures prove the progress of the energy transition, which expects a nuclear moratorium by 2022 and a fossil energy moratorium by the long term.That’s good news for the thousands owners and farmers, who installed photovoltaic panels on their roofs or wind turbines in their fields. But it represents a bad deal for traditional power companies, such as E.ON or RWE, which thought to be able to resist to renewables growth a long time and which are compelled to modify their strategy.For the government, these new statistics give a new push, as the reduction of power generation allows a reduction of carbon emissions. Highly polluting coal plants have been less used. “I bet on a 3% reduction of carbon emissions in Germany this year, said Barbara Hendricks, the Environment Minister. Protecting climate comes back on a good track.” Indeed in the last years, emissions progressed regularly.

Expected decisions in the field of energy mix in Germany

As the government may enjoy the first renewables taxes reduction in 2015, there are three main thorny points: supply security, climate protection, and high tension lines development, which is on the verge to fail because of residents’ mass demonstrations. All these points feed the need for reform expressed by the Economy and Energy Ministry… but they represent very thorny issues.
Supply security may trigger again the debate about power costs, which were an important issue during the 2013 poll campaign. This point arises various thorny topics on the backstage: would it be good to award a complementary income for power plants to make them available in case of demand peaks? Is it a good direction to close coal plants, which are highly polluting but competitive? Closing a plant is easier than building one, as shows the Bayern Land refusal to build the future high tensions lines the Land needs, according to the government.

Useful links about renewables in Germany:

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