ENERGY                                                                  NEWSLETTER                                        ...
ContentsIntroduction	03MSLGROUP can make the difference	                                04Where we are	                   ...
Introduction18 months on from Fukushima – what does Europe’senergy future look like?As 2012 draws to a close, there is tim...
Our team                             Anders Kempe                  Regional president MSLGROUP EMEA                       ...
Our team                             Florian Wastl                                            Germany                     ...
Where we are                                                                                                              ...
Flip-flopping on nuclear energy   bodes ill for Japan’s future   Japan has gone back to the drawing board on whether to le...
The announcement of the new energy           The ambiguity of the Government policy                                      s...
from academia, the church and other           On the other hand, if nuclear energyparts of society, including a business  ...
UK’s energy future post - Fukushima?   The Tsunami off the coast of Japan that led to the Fukushima disaster has   had a p...
opposition and it is clear that the       But there is no easy way out,difficult choices people need to make     consumers...
Turbines in troubled waters   What will the impact be of Sweden’s plans to revise   the environmental permits of the count...
hydropower, Sweden will need more             production for existing hydro plants. It                                    ...
Germany’s Energy Shift:Does less haste mean more speed?Germany’s energy shift is not only lagging severely behind schedule...
Only the Green Party are likely tostep out of line: They will insistthat costs are not being pushed upby the effort to ext...
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012
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MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012


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MSLGROUP’s latest energy newsletter lifts the curtain on how Fukushima has shaken up the European energy landscape and our experts share their thoughts on its impact on the world's energy market.
In our previous newsletter, we shared insights into the challenges facing EMEA including climate change, growing fuel poverty and security of supply.
MSLGROUP has a growing footprint across Europe and beyond, and a fantastic team in place to help our clients rise to the challenge of communicating effectively with stakeholders around the world on these and other critical issues. Connect with us:

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MSLGROUP EMEA Newsletter on Energy November 2012

  1. 1. ENERGY NEWSLETTER Volume 1 - Issue 2 | November 2012 18 months on from Fukushima, what does Europe’s energy future look like? INSIDE THIS ISSUE PAGE PAGE PAGE 03 04 07Introduction MSLGROUP can Flip-flopping on nuclear energy make the difference bodes ill for Japan’s future Popular opinion in Japan is rapidly turning anti-nuclear. The Government tries to reflect this in its energy policy but has run into major opposition inside and outside of Japan. PAGE New Italian National Energy Strategy: PAGE Poland heading for 18 it’s time to join the conversation In a difficult and uncertain macroeconomic scenario, 21 nuclear power – will it work? While Germany is implementing its phase out from the all the country’s efforts must be geared towards nuclear program and Japan has just announced its decision the resumption of sustainable growth. to close its reactors too, Poland is simultaneously preparing to launch its first nuclear power plant by the end of 2023.
  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction 03MSLGROUP can make the difference 04Where we are 06Flip-flopping on nuclear energy bodes ill for Japan’s future 07UK’s energy future post-Fukushima 10Turbines in troubled waters 12Germany’s Energy Shift:Does less haste mean more speed? 14Post-Fukushima issues for France’s energy transition 16New Italian National Energy Strategy: it’s time to jointhe conversation 18Poland heading for nuclear power – will it work? 21How could Europe save more energy? 23The Dutch energy landscape: towards a hybrid policy? 25 2 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  3. 3. Introduction18 months on from Fukushima – what does Europe’senergy future look like?As 2012 draws to a close, there is time to pause and reflect on how the tragicevents 18 months ago at Fukushima have changed the nature of the world’senergy market and nowhere more so than in Europe. At a time of such profoundchange, one might have expected a unanimity of approach – particularly giventhe dirigiste nature of the European Union – but a quick review of the Europeanlandscape reveals that, on this occasion, nothing could be further from the truth.Almost every country in the European Union has a unilateral, seeminglyun-coordinated and often contrary position in respect of energy policy and theirreaction to Fukushima has only amplified this. For example, Germany, whichhas always been sceptical of nuclear energy, boldly came out and committed toclosing its fleet of reactors in record time, pinning its hopes on developing itsleadership in renewables to plug the gap. With nuclear accounting for nearly 18%of demand, that is a big gap to fill.By contrast,there are countries like the UK and Poland, that remain quite bullishon nuclear. Yet the UK’s nuclear programme is faltering, due to the Government’sresistance to helping underwrite the associated costs and the reluctance of theprivate sector to commit to such huge and uncertain liabilities. You even have thebizarre situation in Sweden where environmental pressures have called the futureof hydro power, hitherto the poster child of green energy, into question.Welcome, therefore, to MSLGROUP’s latest energy newsletter where some of mylearned colleagues have lifted the curtain on how Fukushima has shaken up theEuropean energy landscape. There are no easy solutions, especially in this era ofcarbon reduction, and it is also clear that there is no single answer. Undoubtedly,there needs to be some hard headed decision making at the highest level togive direction and leadership in this critical area. Whatever happens, it is prettyclear that communications professionals will be kept busy for decades to come,explaining the impacts and outcomes to consumers and citizens alike.Nick BastinManaging Director, Capital MSL,Head of Energy, MSLGROUP EMEA 3 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  4. 4. Our team Anders Kempe Regional president MSLGROUP EMEA Chairman JKL Group MSLGROUP can make the difference Nick Bastin Head of MSLGROUP EMEA Energy Practice UK MSLGROUP is one of the world’s top five PR and events networks, employing more than 3,400 people in 22 countries around the world. We are Publicis Groupe’s speciality communications and engagement group, advisors in all aspects of communication strategy: from corporate PR to employee communications, from public affairs to reputation management and from crisis communications to event Per Ola Bosson management. Sweden We work for a quarter of the top-100 most valuable brands globally. Specialist expertise MSLGROUP’s EMEA Energy Practice is a leader in advising companies from Europe and around the world on communications issues in the energy sector. Across 15 countries and offices, our European network supports clients that range from large publicly listed Fortune 500 Alessandro Chiarmasso organisations, to small, privately held companies. We currently advise a Italy third of the energy companies in the Eurotop 100. We offer in-depth sector understanding From well head To wall socket George Godsal UK From nuclear To renewable From crisis To talent Pierre-Samuel Guedj France 4 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  5. 5. Our team Florian Wastl Germany We also understand the key communications issues that keep energy companies awake at night: License to operate Sustainability Deep water NIMBY Fukushima Financing Emissions Carbon Peter Steere Sustainability Super Critical Brussels/ Sweden Sustainability Drilling Coal NIMBY Water Deep water Financing Talent Financing License to operate Water NIMBY Financing Fracking Regulation Biodiesel Regulation Responsibility Sustainability License to operate Drilling Renewable NIMBY Fukushima Deep water License to operate Financing Carbon Renewable Talent Water Fracking Coal Wind We can help to manage the risks Pawel Tomczuk Poland Holistic communications solutions With both breadth and depth of energy communications expertise in Europe’s key markets, we share the belief that effective, best practice communications can deliver value to stakeholders across the energy value chain. Erik Martens Netherlands We look at the bigger picture in the context of energy market issues Creativity Corporate Brand • We help energy organisations to find Digital/ Social media better ways of Crisis communicating complex messages to M&A, IPO, multiple stakeholders restructuring Talent often across multiple Lotte Glad markets Norway Investor Public affairs relations and regulatory • We deliver creative relations solutions that drive greater engagement with key audiences If you want to find out more about the work we do, or enquire as to how we might be able to help, don’t hesitate to contact a team member in your market – or contact Nick Bastin at Helmut Kranzmaier Germany 5 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  7. 7. Flip-flopping on nuclear energy bodes ill for Japan’s future Japan has gone back to the drawing board on whether to let nuclear power stay in its energy mix. Japan is in desperate need of a more serious debate on its energy future. It must bring to the table representatives from all ends of society. Jochen Legewie Popular opinion in Japan is rapidly Japan were dashed. In the face of turning anti-nuclear. The Government strong opposition from the business tries to reflect this in its energy policy community, municipalities and but has run into major opposition inside prefectures that host nuclear reactorsThe Cabinet eventually approved and outside of Japan. The result is a and fuel reprocessing plants, and fromthe new energy plan on Sept. zigzagging course, which is creating the United States, Great Britain and huge unpredictability about Japan’s France, the Japanese Government19. But it had dropped the core future nuclear policy. This limbo decided to backtrack on its initialreference to the 2040 deadline situation threatens to be even worse a separate document. In other than either switching off all nuclear reactors or keeping them online. The Cabinet eventually approved thewords, Japan has gone back to the new energy plan on 19 September. Butdrawing board on whether to let On 14 September 2012, the Japanese it had dropped the core reference to the Government presented to the public a 2040 deadline in a separate document.nuclear power stay in its energy new national energy strategy. This long- In other words, Japan has gone backmix. awaited plan included the objective of to the drawing board on whether to let eliminating nuclear power by 2040. nuclear power stay in its energy mix. This came as no big surprise as recent surveys are showing that a majority of This zigzagging on policy has left many Japanese favor an exit from nuclear in and outside Japan scratching their energy in the long run. Each Friday, tens heads. Both proponents and opponents of thousands of people demonstrate of nuclear energy are equally frustrated against nuclear power in front of the because neither group’s concerns Prime Minister’s residence and this are being properly reflected by the has been going on for several months. Government’s wavering course. The Japan has not witnessed a larger public worst long-term damage, however, is movement than this since the student probably being caused by the shaken riots in the 1960s. belief that Japan has a predictable future in energy. Only one week after 14 September, however, hopes for a nuclear-free 7 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  8. 8. The announcement of the new energy The ambiguity of the Government policy strategy on 14 September was filled with is best shown by the following remarks contradictions and ambiguities from the of Japan’s trade minister, “Whether we beginning. can become nuclear-free by the 2030s is not something to be achieved only by While aiming to close nuclear power policymakers. It also depends on the plants by the end of the 2030s, the will of electricity users, technological strategy allows work on plants already innovation, and the international under construction to continue. It also environment for energy in the next one calls for shutting down all reactors while or two decades.” the reprocessing of spent fuel shall continue. Likewise, the goal of tripling What remains for the time being is a electricity output from renewable temporary victory by the formidable energy sources by 2030 sounds hollow coalition of pro-nuclear interest groups. because the Government does not offer But as long as unpredictability and any plans for generating the funding immature communications continue required to do so. to shape energy policy and public perception at home and abroad, there In addition to these factual will be no real winner. contradictions, members of Prime Minister Noda’s Cabinet have been Japan is in desperate need of a more making inconsistent remarks over serious debate on its energy future. the past weeks. On 13 September the The Government should take the lead Government announced its plan to shut in creating a proper framework and down the Monju fast-breeder reactor. timeline for this debate. It must bring to Five days later it insisted that research the table representatives from all endsJapan needs to develop its own and development activities at Monju of society, including the growing groupapproach in a political environment would continue. of outspoken nuclear opponents.that lacks a history of long-term On 17 September, Chief Cabinet Maybe, Japan should borrow apublic discussion of nuclear Secretary Fujimura even told a page from the book of the Germanpower as Germany had, and which news conference about plans to Government. Right after the Fukushimafaces significant differences with decommission three nuclear reactors disaster, the German Government in Fukui Prefecture — only to retract the installed the so-called EthicsGermany in terms of geography, remarks a few hours later on the same Commission, made up of famousgeopolitics and other conditions. day. and highly respected individuals 8 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  9. 9. from academia, the church and other On the other hand, if nuclear energyparts of society, including a business stays, it might lead to another majorrepresentative, to discuss the nation’s accident in earthquake prone Japan andfuture nuclear policy. It later provided thus — combined with above — result inchancellor Merkel with the perfect the worst possible overall scenario.blueprint legitimising Germany’snuclear exit. Facts and perceptions need to be taken into the equation as well. There areJapan needs to develop its own many ways to do so. One would be toapproach in a political environment start an annual international summit tothat lacks a history of long-term public discuss the challenges and solutionsdiscussion of nuclear power as Germany to the energy questions of today andhad, and which faces significant tomorrow. The obvious annual datedifferences with Germany in terms would be 11 March, with a venue inof geography, geopolitics and other Fukushima prefecture.conditions. The Japanese Government owes it toBut it is clear that Japan cannot afford to its people, and also to the internationalkeep zigzagging on energy policy much community, to take the lead inlonger. If it continues, the fears of both addressing nuclear and other energysides in the nuclear debate might come issues in a proactive and sustainabletrue. way. And it must communicate its course in a consistent and responsible way. If itOn the one hand, the continued did so, Japan might even be perceivedunpredictability in policy will likely make as leading in a responsible way – atenergy-intensive businesses leave home as well as abroad.Japan. It will effectively dampen anyfurther exports of nuclear technologywhile preventing the development of astrong new industry around renewableenergies at the same time. It will evenworsen relations with the U.S. andother Western allies that want Japan tostick with nuclear power but most of allrequest planning security. 9 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  10. 10. UK’s energy future post - Fukushima? The Tsunami off the coast of Japan that led to the Fukushima disaster has had a powerful and long reaching effect on global energy policy and its impact has circumnavigated the world – including reaching the UK and affecting its energy policy choices. Even prior to Fukushima,the UK was in submitting a bid, it did raise the facing some very difficult decisions; controversial prospect of the Chinese how could its ageing fleet of nuclear State being a significant shareholder in Nick Bastin reactors be phased out and replaced the privatised UK nuclear industry. with enough new capacity to keep the lights on? Should nuclear remain a This would have brought its own core component of the UK electricity communications challenges, as it supply? What mix of fuel gave the seems unlikely that the British general best blend of security of supply, cost public would have readily accepted efficiency and would help to lower the Chinese ownership in such a sensitive UK’s carbon footprint; how could prices area – particularly when there is no be kept affordable; and what was the prospect for reciprocity in China. right balance between intermittent andThe Government was presented base load solutions? The problem is that if trusted partners,with an awkward conundrum, as like E.On, RWE and Areva pull out,the subsequent bids from a variety Perhaps, unsurprisingly, the role of there is not much choice of other nuclear power has been questioned as suppliers who have the technical orof consortiums to take over the never before, with an added irony being financial ability, or willingness, to bid,project have been less palatable that this came at a time that the UK particularly if you exclude Chinese orand had potentially included two seemed to have unblocked a log jam in Russian bidders for political reasons. its development of new nuclear power In this case, Hitachi have ridden to theChinese State-owned bidders stations and was well advanced in the rescue by agreeing to buy Horizon- China Guangdong Nuclear planning for the construction of a fleet from E.On and RWE, but there is stillPower Group and Nuclear Power of up to eight new plants. a complex negotiation to be had over pricing and the financial return, withTechnology Corp. However, unlike in other countries, Hitachi seemingly having to trust the like Germany and Japan, the desire to UK Government to do the right thing. withdraw from nuclear power has not It seems unlikely that more nuclear come from Government wilting under power stations can realistically be built popular protest, but from private sector without a greater level of Government reluctance to commit to the projects involvement, due to the extremely long under the proposed terms. The swift term liabilities and costs, which are action taken by Angela Merkel’s increasingly hard for private companies Government to shut down nuclear to stomach. power in Germany, was followed rapidly by E.On and RWE’s withdrawal from But the ripples of Fukushima are bidding for the Horizon consortium that more subtle than just whether the was hoping to build two new plants at UK should build more nuclear power Wylfa and Oldbury on Severn. stations. The question is also, if not nuclear, then what? With a reluctance The Government was presented to be more dependent on Russian with an awkward conundrum, as the gas and with declining production in subsequent bids from a variety of the UK North Sea, the options for a consortiums to take over the project robust alternative are limited. Despite have been less palatable and had theoretical support for renewables like potentially included two Chinese State- wind, there is increasing push back owned bidders - China Guangdong from communities on the impact these Nuclear Power Group and Nuclear have. Recent proposals for a huge wind Power Technology Corp. Although farm along the banks of Loch Ness neither of these ultimately participated in Scotland have galvanised intense 10 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  11. 11. opposition and it is clear that the But there is no easy way out,difficult choices people need to make consumers need to be informedabout their power sources are not going about the reality that we face; withto go away. most renewables currently unable to meet baseload power requirements,All of these challenges will require and requiring huge Governmenteffective communications to help subsidies to get off the ground, all ofpeople make the right decisions – with the alternatives remain unpalatableconsumers struggling under ever on one level or another. It is inevitableincreasing energy bills, and a growing that ultimately we will need a mix ofnumber enduring fuel poverty, the energy sources to meet our needs, andcorrelation between those choices and nuclear will need to be part of that mix.politics will become ever narrower. The I am sure nuclear power operators, andGovernment is trapped between the the British public for that matter, wouldrock of deficit reduction and the need value more open and transparentfor long term planning / financing of communications from the Governmentthese projects, if you throw in carbon on how these plans will affect them,reduction targets and the hornet’s nest and they will need to fully understandof opposition from special interest the costs and ramifications that thosegroups, then you can see why decision choices will have, both in the presentmaking is often glacial. but also in the future, 20 years hence. 11 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  12. 12. Turbines in troubled waters What will the impact be of Sweden’s plans to revise the environmental permits of the country’s 2,000 hydro plants Per Ola Bosson “I can’t understand why Sweden is A power plant required to release doing this! Hydropower is necessary, a certain minimum flow alongside as we all know. Not only because it its turbine has an impact on up and is renewable - it is also needed to downstream power plants. The ability regulate fluctuations in wind power to use hydropower as energy storage is production.” restricted when flow cannot be freely regulated. These words were spoken by a German electrical engineer, who was Rewriting permits for all power astonished by Sweden’s plans to cut plants under today’s environmental hydropower production. Or more legislation is expected to reduceThe few cases in which new precisely, Sweden’s plans to revise production by 5 TWh, according toenvironmental legislation has the environmental permits of the industry body Swedenergy. Regulatingbeen applied to hydropower have country’s 2,000 hydroelectric plants. capacity – the ability to store energy Most hydro plants operate under in regulated rivers – will also bealways entailed a decrease in permits that are 50-100 years old and reduced. Others estimate that theproduction. were granted under old legislation. A production decrease may be as much revision of the permits in accordance as 10 TWh. Today, 65 TWh is produced with new legislation would compel by hydropower. A crucial question will the hydro plants to meet more be how environmental regulations stringent requirements and comply should be applied to the largest hydro with new environmental law principles, plants. Most hydroelectric production including the Duty of Care, Best is generated by the 200 largest plants; Available Technology and Polluter Pays this is also where the regulating Principles. capacity lies. The few cases in which new The parliamentary majority that has environmental legislation has been pushed the plans does not care to applied to hydropower have always provide a forecast as to the size of entailed a decrease in production. the production decrease – it wants This is due to the requirement that the issue to be analysed by the a greater share of flowing water be Government investigator who was released alongside the turbine into commissioned last June to draw up a new or existing fish streams, which is legislative proposal. The proposal will expected to improve the chance of be finalised by the summer of 2013. survival for migrating fish and mussels. Meanwhile, Sweden is preparing a plan Each additional cubic metre of water for making the entire energy supply released past the turbine means lost climate neutral by 2050. With less electricity production. 12 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  13. 13. hydropower, Sweden will need more production for existing hydro plants. It wind power. This in turn increases is inconceivable that a parliamentary the demand for regulating power – majority will have a sudden attack of i.e., hydropower. The upshot is that remorse and admit that it “forgot about Europe can hardly count on Swedish climate change.” hydropower in any significant way to regulate expanded wind power and A further expansion of hydropower in solar energy, as Sweden will need the Sweden is also inconceivable, even hydropower for its own regulation of in the long term. There are unused supply and demand. A salient point watercourses, but they are clearly is that Sweden has no natural gas protected by law. For safety’s sake, the network and thus lacks the option of remaining Swedish rivers (including using electric power generated by four large, entirely undeveloped natural gas as a regulating power. Norrland rivers) are protected by both Swedish law and the EU’s Natura The political game behind hydropower 2000, and the major rivers have also is complicated, as it always is with been classified as National Rivers. Swedish energy policy. Due to high Watercourses are thus triply protected per capita electricity consumption, from expansion. Angry opinions energy is an important issue. In the are immediately heard at the mere battle between various stakeholders, mention of hydropower expansion.A further expansion of hydropower certain types of energy (e.g., natural Neither is it possible to increase gas) have been rejected on less electricity production in existingin Sweden is also inconceivable, than objective grounds. It is hardly a hydroelectric plants, since productioneven in the long term. There are coincidence that the most nuclear- there will be reduced by the release ofunused watercourses, but they are friendly party – the Liberal Party – is more water into fish streams alongside also critical of hydropower. But even the turbines.clearly protected by law. the environmental movement criticises hydro, which it views as large-scale The German electrical engineer cited and a threat to biological diversity (as if above points out that Europe will global warming doesn’t also threaten need Swedish hydropower to regulate biodiversity). Most people recognise all the future wind power and solar hydropower’s great importance to energy. But references to Germany’s or Sweden’s economic welfare, but Europe’s need for Swedish hydropower no party or group of voters actually fail to resonate with Swedish public likes hydropower. For people living opinion – in fact, such references near the plants, it’s hard to like have the opposite effect. Swedes do hydro. Hydroelectric plants today do not want fish migration blocked by not employ local staff but control hydropower plants just so electricity operations remotely from national can be exported. Neither do they operations rooms. Hydropower’s think more hydropower is needed in advantages become evident far from Sweden – hydropower already provides the people who live near the plants, nearly 50 per cent of the electricity and this distance would be even greater consumed in Sweden. So it’s more if electric power were exported. enjoyable to fish for trout in Swedish Taken together, this all means that rivers, and canoeists won’t have to haul the decision making process on their canoes past hydropower plants. hydroelectric plant environmental And after all, electricity on the Nordic permits that is now underway will market is cheaper this year than it’s most likely carry severe consequences been in a very long time. and entail a significant decrease in 13 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  14. 14. Germany’s Energy Shift:Does less haste mean more speed?Germany’s energy shift is not only lagging severely behind schedule,it is also about to slow down even further. Ultimately, this could be a virtuefor German energy policy.Florian Wastl In the early summer of last year, only result of these problems, only two three months after the Fukushima small offshore wind parks have so far nuclear disaster, Angela Merkel’s been built, with a joint capacity of a Government dramatically overturned meagre 0.5 Gigawatts. According to the its original decision to slow Germany’s Government’s plans, however, offshore exit from nuclear power, bringing the wind power will have to generate a date for the final decommissioning of whopping ten Gigawatts by 2020. all German nuclear reactors forward to 2022. Alongside the faster nuclear What’s more, the pace of the Energy phase-out, the Government embarked Shift is set to slow down even further on a hugely ambitious plan to replace in the months ahead. This is for two Germany’s nuclear capacity with power reasons: First, the strongest proponent from renewable energy sources. within the Government of a speedy transition to renewables, environment Since then, progress in Germany’s so- minister Norbert Röttgen (CDU), called “Energiewende” (“Energy Shift”) lost his ministerial post in May 2012, has been painstakingly slow, with following a poor showing as CDU front- many projects lagging severely behind runner in a key regional election. The schedule. This is best exemplified new man in charge of the environment by the status quo of one of the key brief, Peter Altmaier (also CDU), is pillars of the Energy Shift, i.e. the determined to focus less on speed building of offshore wind parks in than on feasibility. This is likely to the North Sea. More than a year into include a temporary strengthening of the Energiewende, decision-makers fossil energy production. Secondly, have still not created the regulatory Germany is facing a general election in environment to give investors the September 2013. With energy issues financial security they require (although likely to dominate the election, political a law to do this is about to be passed parties are already beginning to stake at the time of writing). Meanwhile, out their positions. As the election the state-owned Dutch grid operator draws nearer, the policy window will TenneT, tasked with connecting the close in the spring and is unlikely to proposed offshore wind parks to reopen until early 2014. mainland grids, is in severe financial difficulty. Separate deals between However, it is not all gloom: While TenneT and investors to secure Peter Altmaier may be putting his funding for individual projects are now foot on the brake with regard to beginning to get underway but no renewables, he has also begun to overall solution to TenneT’s financial frame the debate towards a more troubles appears to be in sight. As a pragmatic, results-oriented approach 14 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012
  15. 15. Only the Green Party are likely tostep out of line: They will insistthat costs are not being pushed upby the effort to extend renewableenergy production but by a rebatefor industry which should bescrapped. to the Energy Shift. As the Government up by the effort to extend renewable has just had to raise its green energy energy production but by a rebate for levy to cover the increasing cost of industry which should be scrapped. the Energy Shift, Altmaier’s key focus With a Grand Coalition between will be on keeping overall costs down Christian Democrats and Social – or, rather, of spreading them out Democrats the most likely outcome over a greater period of time. While of the election, Altmaier’s approach is Altmaier’s CDU (and, to some extent, set to prevail. It is therefore likely that also the Social Democrats) will be Germany will experience a significant arguing in their election campaigns slowing-down in the shift to renewable that energy must remain affordable to energy production, but that targets, consumers, the CDU’s coalition partner timings and the cost of the Energy Shift FDP will emphasise the importance will become more realistic. Given the of cheap energy for the continued inevitable extension of fossil energy competitiveness of Germany’s export- production, however, one target will driven economy. Only the Green Party hang in the balance more than ever are likely to step out of line: They will before: Germany’s commitment to cut insist that costs are not being pushed CO2 emissions. 15 Energy Volume 1 issue Newsletter November 2012