The energy markets remain in turmoil because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Besides that, the short-term and futures markets continue to react to new developments with price fluctuations. With the REPower package, the EU is outlining a path to independence from Russian fossil fuels towards the accelerated expansion of renewable energy sources. In addition, the Federal Network Agency has announced the results of the tenders for second segment solar plants and the innovation tender.
After comparing the German and French energy systems, we now look at the number three and four in the EU: Italy and Spain. Both countries have a power plant fleet and electricity generation of similar size. However, Italy’s power generation is based on natural gas, while Spain generates larger shares of its electricity from wind power and nuclear power. A look at the figures below reveals similarities and differences.
Reducing dependence on Russian gas is the order of the day. Thus, import LNG terminals will soon play an important role in Germany. The idea of building import terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the German coast is already several years old. However, political support for the construction of the planned facilities in Brunsbüttel, Wilhelmshaven and Stade was limited. Moreover, investment decisions by economic actors also dragged on for a long time, were put on hold or planning was very slow.
Due to the ongoing war situation between Russia and Ukraine, there is no relief in sight on the energy market. Firstly, Europe is imposing new sanctions against Russia and looking for alternative suppliers for gas and coal. Secondly, the federal government has presented a new package of measures with support aid for energy-intensive companies. Thirdly, the results of the solar and biomass tenders were announced.
The European energy system will change dramatically in the coming decades. In addition to climate change and an outdated power plant fleet, current geopolitical tensions are also forcing the European Union and many countries to change their energy policies. What do these developments mean for prices, revenue potential and risks for photovoltaics and wind?
The energy systems of the two largest EU countries differ. A comparison of the electricity sectors in particular shows the contrasts. Electricity generation in France is dominated by nuclear power, which accounts for almost 70 percent, while Germany’s electricity mix relies on coal and natural gas as fossil fuels for one-third of the total. Follow us in this article as we explore the differences between the two energy systems.
Just by looking at the primary energy consumption of the two countries, the differences between France and Germany become clear. France’s primary energy consumption of about 10000 PJ was for many years about one third lower than that of Germany. However, in addition to the higher economic output, the high shares of coal-fired power generation in Germany also played an important role.
Due to the war in Ukraine, February 22 was characterised by strong price movements on the short-term and futures markets. The certification of Nord Stream 2 has now been finally suspended. Due to the current high energy prices, the German government is already abolishing the EEG levy in the middle of this year. In addition, while the nuclear phase-out is scheduled for the end of this year in Germany, further nuclear power plants are being planned in France.
The potential inclusion of nuclear power and natural gas in the EU taxonomy has again ripped open the rifts in European energy and climate policy. What exactly does the EU taxonomy regulate and what conditions are attached to classifying the two technologies as sustainable? In this article, we put the discussions surrounding the EU taxonomy in context.