The German Energy Agency dena and the working group Power-to-Gas, which dena launched, demand changes to a bill amending the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchG) so as to recognise hydrogen and methane derived from renewable energy sources as biofuels. This was presently not the case, putting hydrogen and methane at a disadvantage compared to other biogenic fuels, dena says.
The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) has presented a proposal for auctioning financial support for freestanding solar power plants under the recently revised Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014), which aims for easy implementation, equal participation and greatest possible diversity of participants as well as cost-efficiency.
Up to a share of 60% of renewable energy sources in the energy mix, i.e. for the next 15 to 20 years, the German energy transformation can do without new electricity storage facilities, as there are cheaper options to provide the flexible electricity input needed in view of the intermittent nature of renewables. However, new storage technologies like batteries, power-to-heat or power-to-gas will presumably grow dynamically nonetheless, due to rising demand from the transport, heat and chemicals, a new study presented by the energy think tank, Agora Energiewende, says.
In view of the German Energiewende that aims to increase the share of renewables of 23.4% in 2013 to 80% in 2050, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has presented a study on the need for expansion and retrofitting of the distribution grids to which 90% of all renewable power plants are connected. The study quantifies the need for expansion using three potential scenarios and points out and assesses ways to save money by using smart grid technologies and innovative planning and operating strategies.
In a further important decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared a system of green certificates established in the Flemish Region of Belgium compatible with EU law. Under this system, electricity suppliers had to surrender to the regulatory authority each year a certain number of green certificates, failing which they had to pay a fine. CJEU did however set requirements for the market of green certificates and with regard to the fines payable in case of not surrendering green certificates.
The EEG surcharge consumers have to pay in support of renewable energy sources will rise further, a study by Ifo Institute for Economic Research on behalf of the Association of Family Businesses (Die Familienunternehmer) concludes. The study calculates EEG related extra costs arising because the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is supplemented in Germany by the EEG that promotes renewable energy sources. Extra costs are in the range of EUR 114 to 187 billion by 2030, not including costs incurred in the past and without saving one additional gramme of CO₂, the study says.
The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) has criticised current plans for state spending in the energy sector, in particular for heating, foreseen in the bill on the federal budget for 2015. The bill was introduced into Parliament yesterday.
The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has published the results of a study it had commissioned on “Capacity Products in the German Natural Gas Market” which was meant to take stock, evaluate and make proposals for a possible standardisation.
The TSOs reported a profit of EUR 442,832,426,76 for August 2014, leading to an increased positive balance on the Renewable Surcharge Account (EEG account) of EUR 1,506,159,979,54. This would be the first positive balance for the month of August, and is quite puzzling because of the important share of PV input. The situation gets even more surprising when looking at the total monthly expenses in August that are more than EUR 1 billion below the July figures. However, it appears as if the drastic reduction is be due to a delayed payment flow reason, and not due to dramatically reduced EEG costs.
Pursuant to the recently amended Section 17d para. 3 German Energy Act (EnWG) grid connection capacity for offshore wind farms is allocated by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA). For the first allocation procedure, which BNetzA has just launched, the agency has exercised its right to allocate more than 6.5 GW, the national target for 2020. In line with Section 118 para. 14 EnWG BNetzA is allocating 7.7 GW. Due to unconditional grid connection commitments already made under the previous law, 1,722.7 MW will be allocated in the North and Baltic Sea.