Senior Power Correspondent
Vera's Feed
Feb 18, 2013

German power market paralysed by subsidised renewables

FRANKFURT/LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Germany’s wholesale
power market is teetering as long-term prices trade near
eight-year lows and September elections dim hopes for any speedy
reform of renewable subsidies blamed for overcapacity and weak
utilities’ margins.

Successive German governments have paid out generous
subsidies to develop wind, solar and biomass power generation
capacity. This has guaranteed producers fixed prices and given
green power priority access on transmission grids.

Feb 5, 2013

Trianel calls for German power market reform

ESSEN, Germany, Feb 5 (Reuters) – German utility group
Trianel said its new coal-fired power station at Luenen will be
loss-making for years and urged policymakers to come up with
remedies for a skewed energy market.

Luenen, planned around five years ago by the 29 local
utilities and regional energy firms who together form Trianel,
is a victim of German policy to favour low-carbon generation
with subsidies which have driven down the price of electricity
from other sources.

Feb 4, 2013

German environment minister brushes off power price plan carping

ESSEN, Germany, Feb 4 (Reuters) – German Environment
Minister Peter Altmaier on Monday reaffirmed his intention to
limit power price rises for consumers ahead of September general
elections and pledged to look for multi-party backing for his
latest reform plan.

“Power prices need to be kept at a level you can calculate
and rely on,” he said at a conference in Essen. “The way the
system works now cannot continue and politicians have to meet
their responsibilities to change it.”

Jan 23, 2013

German power bonanza energises big players and small specialists

BERLIN, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Germany’s impending energy shift
has set a host of companies, from conglomerates to niche
specialists, jostling for position to capitalise on the
country’s most ambitious infrastructure project in recent

“This is the most exciting time in Germany’s energy sector
since the end of the 1960s, when we saw the last wave of big
grid investments,” says PSI AG Chief Executive Harald

Jan 22, 2013

EU energy chief appeals to Germany to drop energy isolation

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Germany must turn away from its
go-it-alone energy shift and work more with the European Union
to build a cost-efficient, secure and sustainable sector,
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Tuesday.

“Germany has to make its energy transformation compatible
with Europe,” Oettinger said on the opening day of Germany’s
most prestigious energy gathering, the three-day annual
Handelsblatt conference.

Jan 22, 2013

Germany takes leave of power market fundamentals

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Wholesale power prices in Germany
are at their lowest in more than three years, undermining the
profitability of fossil fuel power generation and trading, and
yet 40 million households pay record prices well above European
Union averages.

To explain this state of affairs, look no further than the
expansion of renewable energy installations, which provide
bursts of subsidised power often enough to trash market

Jan 21, 2013

German energy leaders grapple with switch to renewables

BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The challenges of shifting to
renewable energy, such as costs, regulation, financing, and poor
reliability, will loom large for Germany’s energy leaders this
week when they meet to discuss the country’s boldest
infrastructure project since reunification.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision, after Japan’s Fukushima
disaster two years ago, to abandon nuclear energy and switch to
more renewable sources like wind and solar power, is being
watched the world over as a possible model for others to follow.

Dec 13, 2012

BASF may seek to sell off gas pipelines

FRANKFURT, Dec 13 (Reuters) – As Germany’s BASF SE
switches focus to the control of natural gas
resources, it could have at least one major cash-raising
disposal in its sights: its majority stake in gas pipeline grid

Selling its 50.1 percent stake in a business which
transports gas over some 2,200 kilometres of pipeline, mainly
from eastern German to the west of the country, could raise some
2.2 billion euros ($2.9 billion) for BASF to invest in buying
more gas reserves, some analysts say.

Dec 11, 2012

German energy agency says higher tariffs needed for grid upgrade

FRANKFURT, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Germany’s energy agency has
called on the government to allow power grid companies to raise
tariffs to provide a greater incentive for the billions of euros
of infrastructure investment needed to support the shift to
renewable energy.

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last year prompted
Germany to switch off large parts of its nuclear generation
capacity and speed moves towards greater reliance on green
energy, with 35 percent of the country’s power to be derived
from renewables by 2020.

Nov 29, 2012

Germany legislates to help prevent power blackouts

FRANKFURT, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Germany passed legislation
designed in part to help prevent blackouts as the country moves
towards relying on renewable energy and out of nuclear power.

Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany embarked
on a costly retreat from nuclear and an expansion of green power
sources such as solar and wind, but this is placing strains on
the grid because such renewable sources are intermittent.

    • About Vera

      "I report on German power and gas markets in liaison with a team of other specialists in European bureaus. I am based in Frankfurt and previously covered commodities out of Hamburg and London. My aim is to identify market and industry trends and to produce high quality copy which is accessible to expert subscribers as well as to energy and business audiences, and to help shape our energy products."
    • Follow Vera