Monthly Archive for January, 2011

Mining Authority Approves General Operation Plan for Vattenfall CCS Exploration Project

The mining authority of the state of Brandenburg (Landesamt für Bergbau, Geologie und Rohstoffe – LBGR) recently approved the general operating plan (Hauptbetriebsplan) for a subsidiary of Vattenfall Europe AG for a carbon capture and storage project.

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Underground Cable Provisions in Energy Line Extension Act Amended

The Bundestag (German Parliament) yesterday approved an amendment of the Energy Line Extension Act (Gesetz zum Ausbau von Energieleitungen – Energieleitungsausbaugesetz – EnLAG) to facilitate underground cable pilot projects.
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GASAG Prevails Against Consumer Protection Agency in Gas Price Dispute

A Berlin consumer protection agency had tried to bring a class action (Sammelklage) against the gas provider Gasag for more than 100 customers to reclaim allegedly overpaid gas bills. After the Regional Court of Berlin (Landgericht Berlin) expressed doubts whether the consumer organization had standing (Klagebefugnis), the plaintiff did not follow through with his case, and the court pronounced a judgement of default (Versäumisurteil) against the consumer organisation.

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SRU: 100% Renewable Electricity Possible by 2050, Solar Subsidies Should be Capped

The Advisory Committee on Environmental Issues to the German Parliament (Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen – SRU) today submitted its special report on ways to achieve a 100% renewable electricity supply to Federal Environment Minister Röttgen. 100% renewable electricity generation is possible by 2050. Subsidies for new PV systems should be capped.

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Minister Brüderle Calls Grid Expansion Essential to Preserving Energy Security

Grid expansion has top priority, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Brüderle said again at the presentation of a monitoring report on energy security yesterday. The report shows that energy security in Germany is high compared with other European countries. Still, grid expansion is essential to avoid grid congestion as of 2015 due to an increasing input of renewable energy.

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Legal Action Against Baden-Württemberg’s Acquisition of EdF Stake in EnBW?

The opposition Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens announced to file a lawsuit with the State Constitutional Court of Baden-Württemberg in February against the acquisition of EdF’s 45.01% stake in EnBW AG by a subsidiary of the state of Baden-Württemberg, NECKARPRI GmbH.

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European Commission Suspended Most Transactions in EU ETS Registries

As of 19 January 2011, the European Commission has suspended transactions, except for allocation and surrender of allowances, in all EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) registries until at least 26 January 2011, 19:00 Central European Time. This is due to repeated security breaches in national registries over the last two months.

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Proposal to Change Green Power Privilege for EEG Reallocation

The Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) today also published a proposal to change the so-called Green Power Privilege (Grünstrom Privileg),  an exemption in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) for utilities that mainly supply renewable energy.

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Environment Ministry and Solar Industry Jointly Propose 2011 Mid-Year Solar Feed-in Tariff Reduction

The Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the solar industry association BSW Solar jointly presented a proposal to bring forward parts of the regular 2012 solar feed-in tariff cuts to 1 July and 1 September 2011. The July/September reductions up to 15% shall depend on PV capacity installed in March, April and May 2011.  The move is due to the continued massive solar expansion and the increasing costs for consumers in the recent past, which triggered criticism from various parties, including consumer protection agencies.

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Minister Brüderle Talks on Grid Expansion, CCS and Solar Feed-in Tariffs at Industry Conference

While last year the government was focused on developing the new Energy Concept, this year will be devoted to its implementation, Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, Rainer Brüderle, pointed out in a speech given at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Energy Industry organized by the newspaper Handelsblatt. Grid expansion had top priority, as renewable energy is becoming the desired supporting pillar of the energy supply, he emphasized.

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