Monthly Archive for June, 2012

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OVG Münster Revokes Preliminary Decision Pursuant to Immission Control Act for Datteln Power Plant

Last week the Higher Administrative Court for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in Münster (OVG Münster) revoked the preliminary decision (Vorbescheid) in favour of E.ON’s planned coal-fired Datteln power plant unit 4. The preliminary decision had been challenged by the environmental organisation BUND (Friends of the Earth). The court did, however, point out that this was not necessarily the end of the Datteln power plant project.

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Kohler: Electricity Price Increase of 20% to 25% by 2020, More Energy Efficiency and Solar Cuts Needed

In an interview with Rheinische Post, the head of the German Energy Agency (dena) Stephan Kohler repeated previous estimates on the impact of the German energy policy shift away from nuclear power towards more renewable energy on electricity prices. Slightly raising his forecast, he said he believed electricity prices to rise by 20% to 25% until 2020, not including price increases at the energy markets due to the increasing demand for oil, gas and coal in other regions of the world. However, there was still a high untapped potential for more energy efficiency, he said. He also supported the planned solar feed-in tariff cuts, which have been put on hold by the Federal Council (Bundesrat).

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Bundesrat Clears Amendment of Combined Heat and Power Act

The Federal Council (Bundesrat) did not object to the amendment of the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG), which the Bundestag recently approved. Hence the amended Act can enter into force the day after the promulgation of the amendment in the Federal Gazette.

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Bundesrat Approves Ordinance on Grid System Stability Requiring Retrofitting of PV Plants on Certain Conditions

The Federal Council (Bundesrat) has approved an ordinance by the government on technical security and system stability in the electricity networks (Systemstabilitätsverordnung- SysStabV) on certain conditions. The ordinance stipulates conditions for retrofitting solar power plants commissioned before 1 January 2012 to minimise the 50.2 Hertz problem.

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German Government Confident Despite Threat of Billion Euro Lawsuits Against Nuclear Power Exit

In view of the announcement of billion Euro claims in damages by German utilities, the German government shows itself confident that last year’s amendment of the Atomic Energy Act (AtG) that lead to the immediate shutdown of eight nuclear power plants and the staggered withdrawal from nuclear energy until 2022 is constitutional and legal action unwarranted, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) writes. Apart from E.ON also RWE had meanwhile lodged a constitutional complaint and Vattenfall was planning to follow suit, FAZ says. With regard to EnBW it remained to be seen whether legal action would be taken, as one of the main shareholders was the state of Baden-Württemberg that is currently ruled by a Green Party/Socialist coalition government.

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Still No Agreement in Mediation Committee with Respect to Solar Feed-In Cuts, Energy-Efficient Renovation and CCS

No agreements were reached for the pending bills on solar feed-in tariff cuts, tax incentives for energy-efficient renovations and the CCS technology in yesterday’s meeting of the Mediation Committee of the Bundestag (Parliament) and the Bundesrat (Federal Council).

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Biogas Still Far Away from 2020 Target – Potential to Balance Fluctuating Renewable Energy

The annual Biogas Monitoring Report presented by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) shows that biogas is still far from the objective of feeding 6 billion minto the German natural gas grids by 2020 (Section 31 Gas Access Ordinance – GasNVZ) despite a 54% increase in 2011 and the potential biogas has to balance the growing amount of intermittent renewable energy in Germany.

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BDEW: Solar Growth Continues Unabated – More Than 4 Billion kWh of Electricity Generated in May

The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) confirmed previous reports about high solar yields in May, saying May was a record month in terms of PV generation with more than 4 billion kWh fed into the German grids. This is an increase of about 40% compared with the previous year (May 2011: 2.6 billion kWh) and equals about 10% of the monthly electricity consumption in Germany.

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New BMWi Brochure Takes Stock of Energy Policy Shift and Lists Pending Issues

Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Philipp Rösler in a recent brochure took stock of the Energiewende and listed pending issues, saying the energy turnaround was well under way. The brochure comes a year after the government decided on the energy policy shift away from nuclear power towards a renewable energy supply on 6 June 2012.

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OLG Düsseldorf: Court Revokes Federal Network Agency Decision on Grid Costs

In 19 test cases the Higher Regional Court of  Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf) revoked decisions by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) on grid fees charged by gas and electricity network operators. The cases hinged on the proper calculation of admissible costs that network operators can include, especially with regard to prices and wages concerning the construction of power lines and installations and with regard to the productivity sector used by BNetzA.

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