Ove Petersen, Managing Director of GP JOULE GmbH – Comment on the EU's new climate protection targets and the commitment of the German government to emission trading

Alternative energy paradox: Despite the expansion of renewable energies, almost every second kilowatt hour of electricity comes from coal-fired power stations. The share of lignite, a fossil fuel especially harmful to the climate, is 25.8 percent, its highest level since 1990*. The reason for this is emission trading, among other things. Due to the economic crisis in Europe, companies are requesting fewer pollution certificates, with the result that their price has fallen in the last three years by almost 14 euros to less than five euros. That makes the operation of dirty lignite power plants particularly profitable, with disastrous consequences for the climate and the price of electricity. The boom in the coal-fired generation of electricity is putting pressure on prices on the energy exchange and, at the same time, increasing the EEG levy - because it is calculated from the difference between the generation price of renewables and the electricity price on the exchange.

Including the cost to the climate in the price of electricity:
The production of coal-fired electricity at the expense of the environment and the climate has to stop. We expect a reform of emission trading from the EU Commission. We welcome an alteration of the number of pollution rights to the economic situation. But our commitment has to continue. We need a real reference value for electricity, which corresponds to the actual cost of electricity generation and incorporates the ecological consequential costs. There has to be what is known as floor price control to halt the production of electricity from lignite, a fossil fuel damaging to the environment:  according to floor-price control, the price per tonne of CO2 is initially set at € 40 and then successively raised by € 2 each year. Only by doing so can we truly achieve an exit from nuclear and fossil-fuels and achieve climate- and environmentally-friendly electricity generation.

This step is necessary to establish real justice in terms of generation. Horst Seehofer recently reminded us that the financing of Germany's exit from nuclear and fossil fuels should not be at the cost of future generations. However, he leaves unanswered the pressing question of how we can avert the dangerous consequences of climate change for future generations.

Germany – pioneering in alternative energy and climate protection:
We need binding Europe-wide renewable energy expansion targets to achieve the planned 2030 climate protection targets. The EU's intended relaxation of the rules is unacceptable, as this not only jeopardises Germany's alternative energy policy but would also place a sensitive damper on climate protection in the EU as a whole. The federal government should not hide behind the EU in this regard. The government needs to act at a national level and make Germany a pioneer in all matters relating to alternative energy and climate protection. The situation is too serious to continually pass the buck between Berlin and Brussels. 

Reußenköge, Schleswig-Holstein
21. January 2014

*Source: Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industries (BDEW)

Win with energy – is the motto under which GP JOULE develops, plans and realises projects for the innovative use of renewable energies. The goal of the company founders and agricultural engineers Ove Petersen and Heiner Gärtner is to combine agriculture and business to open up profitable investment opportunitie for investors. Apart from the Solar Energy, Wind Power and Biomass divisions, the Future Strategies division brings together the knowledge and expertise of the energy experts in integrated solutions and applies itself to investigating new technologies. GP JOULE now has four sites in the north and south of Germany as well as two international sites in the USA and Canada; its head office is in Reußenköge, North Friesland.

Contact details for further enquiries:
Timo Bovi
Director Governmental Relations and Public Affairs
GP Joule GmbH
c/o Johanssen + Kretschmer
Strategische Kommunikation GmbH
Beisheim Center
Berliner Freiheit 2
D-10785 Berlin

Phone: +49-30-520 00 57-806
Mobile: +49-177-883 06 22
Fax: +49-30-520 00 57-877
E-Mail: t.bovi(at)gp-joule.de