German Energy Policy a Chaotic Construction Site Says FAZ

There is no other industry that is as torn and lacking direction as the energy sector due to environmental issues dominating the energy policy, especially with regard to electricity, says Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

Lobby groups with differing interests voice their beliefs vociferously and vilify others, the paper points out.

Hence, it is important that the energy concept, which the ruling CDU/CSU and FDP government wants to present until autumn, will contain a convincing long-term strategy, especially for the electricity market. That strategy should not be influenced by personal interests. Yet, the current discussion about cuts of the solar feed-in tariffs showed that this is doubtful.

Particularly, the expansion of the grid is an important issue that has to be tackled. The grid of the future had to connect offshore wind farms, be equipped to allow for longer transmission from the place of generation to the consumer, and accommodate fluctuating renewable energy sources and future demands created for instance by electromobility.

The article then deals with the European Commission’s efforts to separate grids from generation. It points out that EdF of France, the state-owned utility, no longer directly owns the French grid. Instead the grid was now owned by its subsidiary, the also state-owned RTE. The paper further analyses and partly speculates about who will benefit from the tranfer of E.ON’s and Vattenfall’s extra-high voltage grids to Tennet repectively Elia, saying it looked like German market participants seemed to lose influence on the German extra-high voltage grid. The paper advises the government to bear this fact in mind when preparing the energy concept.

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16 März 2010, page 19

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