The German Federal Court of Justice confirmed lower returns for grid operators, while renewable energies were on record course in the first half of 2019. Associations and politicians discuss the various possibilities for CO2 pricing. There was also a strong upward trend on the prices side in July 2019.
While renewables were the largest source of new electricity generation on a global level, rising use of gas, oil and coal led to CO2-emissions being two percent higher in 2018 than in 2017. The disquieting truth about the global energy system: growing energy hunger outpaces renewable expansion. The increasing demand of 2.8 percent was primarily met by fossil fuels. This process puts climate goals to risk with the fastest growth of carbon emission in seven years.
While the tender for PV delivered lower prices in June 2019, there will be delays on the climate policy front. The details of a possible CO2-pricing and a climate-based tax reform are not to be announced until autumn. On the other hand, the second progress report on the energy transition makes it clear that many of the energy transition targets will not be achieved at the current rate of developments. While the spot market turned negative for several hours, the prices at the long end are falling with coal and gas.
While the wind auction in May 2019 was heavily undersubscribed, the discussion about additional CO2 pricing is entering a hot phase. In particular, the need for measures to increase the use of renewable energies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions make this clear. On the price side, May 2019 was less decisive and, after initial gains, did not provide any long-term impetus.
The bid values increased in the first tenders in Germany for renewable energies in 2019. In contrast, CO2-limits for new cars and trucks are intended to reduce the emissions of the EU. New German power lines and power-to-gas plants should be easier to set up and plan. On the price side, the trend in April 2019 was mainly upwards. The exception: Easter holidays brought many negative prices.
At the end of March 2019, the European Parliament has given green light to the last regulations and directives of the “Clean Energy Package”. Both in Berlin and in Hamburg, the re-communalisation of energy infrastructures is imminent. While renewable energies can show new records in March, the high time of storage just starts. At the long and the short end of the electricity market, prices went down in March 2019.
In the coming years, PPAs and non-subsidised renewables will also come to Germany. This became clear in February 2019. In addition, the transmission system operators have published the first draft of the new network development plan for 2030. The expansion of the grid will become more expensive. While the tender values for Photovoltaics (PV) and wind remained high in the first tender in 2019, the long-term prices on the futures market declined in February.
Last year was again a good year in terms of PV expansion in China with now 175 GW. However, also total electricity consumption grew pronouncedly by 540 TWh offsetting gains in the renewable part of the generation mix, while generation from thermal fossil-fueled power plants increased as well. LNG to play a central role to cover China`s gas consumption in the future.