Editorial December 2017
2017 is almost finished. It was certainly an eventful year for renewable energies. On the positive side, we saw prices significantly decreasing again for wind energy on land and at sea, as well as for photovoltaics, at a national and international level. In terms of wind energy, we can even assume that no added costs over conventional energy production are now involved. Currently, photovoltaics are making even greater cost progress, and are catching up. This is an extremely positive cost development. What would the situation look like if the CO2 emissions were to be subject to fair charges of 25 euros or more per ton?
However, several key developments also occurred on the negative side. The move to tenders for wind and solar energy brought several important surprises with it. As expected, there is strong competition with low electricity prices. We also observe that with onshore wind, major distortions are being created due to conditions in the civilian energy clause that have not been thought through and which are easy to circumvent, and a big dip in expansion can be anticipated from 2019. This problem can only be rectified with the various tenders via the Bundestag, and not through a decree. More flexible options for correction were not included in the plans when the tenders were introduced. Last but not least, while everyone is talking about sector coupling, in practice, almost all projects are impossible to implement in an economically viable way due to unfavourable framework conditions.
To this extent, the end-of-year summary is mixed. Those involved in the energy transition have repeatedly proven in recent decades that they are flexible, adaptable and innovative. This has been clearly reflected in the presentation of the German Renewables Award 2017. With this in mind, we at the cluster Renewable Energy Hamburg remain confident that in 2018 there will be continuing progress towards a sustainable energy supply. We wish you and your families a peaceful Christmas time, so that together, we can continue to contribute to the energy transition!