The European Commission has declared German plans to grant EUR 1.6 billion public financing for decommissioning and subsequently closing eight lignite-fired power plants to be in line with EU state aid rules.
Archive for the 'Coal' Category
Last Sunday at 12:45 it was sunny and windy, and the end of a long holiday weekend. It looks like this resulted in more than 90% renewable energy, a whopping 13.6 GW of power exports, and EPEX spot intraday continuous power prices down to -178.01 EUR/MWh, with a weighted average of -144.78 EUR/MWh during that time.
With its Electricity Market 2.0 project, the German government wants to take an important step towards enhanced integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity market. Renewables in 2015 already constituted about one third of Germany’s electricity consumption. The challenge is to integrate an increasing amount of intermittent renewable energy with feed-in priority into the system, in a secure, cost-efficient and sustainable way.
The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) said that an agreement has been reached with the lignite power station operators Mibrag, RWE and Vattenfall on putting 2.7 GW first into a special reserve and then later close the plants down. Minister Gabriel considers this to be important for reaching Germany’s climate targets.
On 1 October, Oxera and Bird & Bird will be organising an afternoon seminar in Düsseldorf on “Capacity Mechanisms in the Energy Turnaround – Risks for Market Participants? The seminar will cover important current energy state aid law questions, and will be held mainly in German. It is free, but places are limited. Please send me an e-mail if you are interested.
Various newspapers have started to published initial information on a ministerial draft for the new Electricity Market Act (Strommarktgesetz). The draft contains many elements from the the White Paper presented at the beginning of July and the government agreement of early July. It rejects proposals to introduce a capacity market, and instead relies on the concept of an “electricity market 2.0”, with additional capacity, climate and grid reserve mechanisms to secure generation adequacy.
A ministrial draft for a recast of the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG) is now available on the internet. KWKG promotes power generated in CHP plants as well as heating and cooling networks and the respective storage facilities. The draft does not change the goal of a share of power generated in CHP plants of 25% by 2020, but contains many other amendments. They correspond mostly to the key points we informed about on 17 July 2015. The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) has voiced criticism and demanded changes.
In early July the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) presented key points for measures to further promote the German energy transition (Energiewende) towards a mainly renewable energy supply. They included the proposal to gradually transfer some of the oldest coal-fired plants with a capacity of 2.7 GW to a capacity reserve (for which a cost-based remuneration would be paid) and close down the plants four years thereafter. The department of European Affairs that advises Parliament (Bundestag) has expressed doubt about the compatibility of the plans with EU law, the spokeswoman for climate policy for the Green Party and media sources said citing from the unpublished report.
Interesting new provisional data by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for 2013 show that driven by generation in non-OECD countries, electricity generated by coal reached its highest level yet at 9,613 TWh. This represents 41.1% of global electricity production. In the same year renewable electricity generation overtook natural gas to become the second largest source of electricity worldwide producing 22% of total electricity or 5,130 TWh. Global non-hydro renewable electricity also surpassed oil-fired generation for the first time ever in 2013, rising to 1,256 TWh or 5.4% of global electricity production.