ENERGY WATCH #1 - November 13, 2018
Germany is headed for a rather amazing energy year. According to energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB), the country will use more than 5% less energy this year compared to last year! This is based on data over the first nine months of 2018.
The reasons for this spectacular decline, according to AGEB: higher energy prices, warmer weather, and energy efficiency. The reason is not to be found in lower economic production or a decline in population, AGEB notes.
Primary energy use in Germany has been declining since 2006 and is the lowest in over 20 years.
More remarkable findings: oil, gas and coal use all declined, the production of renewable energy and nuclear power (!) grew. As a result, AGEB expects CO2 emissions to decline by no less than 7%.
However, energy analysts said the data did not indicate that Germany was solidly on track for further emission reductions in the coming years. They warned that the drop was largely caused by one-off effects, reported Clean Energy Wire. “I would warn against calling this a trend”, said Hans-Joachim Ziesing, a member of the federal government’s independent Energiewende monitoring commission.
Hans König from Aurora Energy Research said emissions could even rise next year if energy demand and the weather returned to average levels.
In other news: according to new figures from utility association BDEW, renewables produced 38% of the power used in Germany in the first nine months, an increase of three percentage points.
GlobalData, a leading analyst company, expects that non-hydro renewables will almost entirely make up for the lost production from nuclear power when the last nuclear plant closes in Germany in 2022.
“Non-hydro renewable power capacity is expected to continue growing to establish itself as the dominant source of energy by 2030, when it is expected to account for 71.9% of total installed capacity,” said Chiradeep Chatterjee, Power Analyst at GlobalData, on CleanTechnica.
Looking forward, “GlobalData sees Germany focusing on expanding its offshore wind and geothermal power sectors, which are expected to increase at a rate of 8.7% and 9.9% respectively. Conversely, thermal capacity is expected to decline from its current levels of 38.4% to only 23.2% by 2030, due primarily to a reduction in coal-fired capacity.”
Specifically, according to GlobalData, the following table outlines the company’s forecasts for onshore wind, offshore wind, solar PV, and solar thermal (CSP) through to 2030:
“The share of coal power, which was 22.1% in 2017 in the total capacity mix, is expected to decline to 9.3% in 2030,” added Chatterjee. “The gap is expected to be filled up only partially by gas-based capacity which explains the net decline in the share of thermal power.”
All this does not necessarily mean that energy prices will go down. The German website Strom Report tracks consumer electricity prices throughout the country.
Recently it reported that although taxes and duties are expected to decline next year, prices will probably nevertheless go up.
The German renewable energy levy (EEG), the main financing instrument of the Energiewende, which makes up 23% of all taxes and duties, will be adjusted downwards by 0.39 cents to 6.404 cents per kWh in 2019. The CHP (combined heat and power) levy will go down slightly to 0.28 cts per kWh. However, the Offshore Network levy will go up from 0.037 cts to 0.416 cts per kWh. Total levies will be 7.411 cts per kWh, 1.9% lower than in 2018.
Network tariffs vary by state by will go up on average by 2%, notes Strom-Report.
Wholesale prices for electricity have risen sharply, by 54%, in the first nine months, to 5.5 cts per kWh. This is the highest in five years. The main reasons are higher prices of gas and coal and higher carbon prices in the EU ETS. Strom-Report does not see any indications that this trend will reverse itself in the coming period.