German Companies Take Back the Power
More evidence from Germany showing a fundamental change in companies’ attitude to energy. This was first published in the Wall Street Journal and contains some really interesting detail about the changes underway in Germany’s energy market.
Every sixth company in Europe’s largest economy now generates its own electricity, roughly 50% more than one year ago, according to Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They range from rural family-owned companies to a vast Dow Chemical Co. plant that consumes 1% of the country’s electricity.
The reason? Ever-higher electricity prices – driven in part by a 22% government-mandated levy [tax] to fund renewable-energy sources – are prompting companies large and small to invest in their own power-generation infrastructure. Doing so not only shields them from the government surcharge, but also makes them eligible for subsidies designed to encourage energy efficiency and so-called green electricity.
We would suggest another reason; the growing awareness of just how dependent Germany is on imported gas. Manufacturing industries require reliable power supplies and predictable pricing and instability in the Russian gas supply threatens both.
The monolithic utilities don’t like this trend one bit, and have been very good at getting scare stories into the media, warning of blackouts and energy scarcity. But as the events in Ukraine have highlighted, German businesses are better served installing and owning their own energy capacity than they are relying on centralized grid generation which gets half of it’s gas from Russia.
You can read the full article here: http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/daily-news-article/german-companies-take-back-the-power/