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Germans to build Asian solar park as Spanish announce Baltic wind farm

German solar energy firm Conergy said Monday it would build Southeast Asia's largest commercial solar power plant outside of Bangkok, while a Spanish firm announced plans for a Baltic Sea wind farm.

Germans to build Asian solar park as Spanish announce Baltic wind farm
Photo: DPA

The first part of the park in Ayutthaya, some 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of Thailand’s capital, should be open by the end of July this year and it will produce one megawatt of energy, the Hamburg-based company said in a statement.

The park should be completed by the end of the year, with a total power output of three megawatts.

When fully operational, the park will produce 4,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year, equivalent to 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

However, the output is small compared to Germany, where the biggest solar park has a maximum output of 53 megawatts and can provide 15,000 families with electricity.

But the German company was not the one with “green” power news on Monday.

The Spanish renewable energy group Iberdrola Renovables announced it will build an offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea off the German coast.

The company has bought the rights to the installation from a joint venture formed by Deutsche Erneuerbare Energien, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, and Germany’s Ventotec, it said in a statement. It did not reveal the price.

The wind farm will have 80 turbines for a total output capacity of 400 megawatts.

Iberdrola Renovables, a subsidiary of Spanish power group Iberdrola, said it expects to invest €9.0 billion ($12 billion) by 2012 in a programme of international expansion, notably in the United States, Britain and Spain.

Germany is the second largest producer of electricity from wind farms after the United States and ahead of China and Spain, according to a 2009 report by the Global Wind Energy Council.

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ENERGY

German government announces fresh relief package for high energy costs

With Russia's invasion in Ukraine exacerbating high energy and petrol prices, Germany is set to introduce a second relief package to limit the impact on consumers.

German government announces fresh relief package for high energy costs

The additional package of measures was announced by Economy and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) on Sunday.

Speaking to DPA, Habeck said the wave of price increases throughout the energy sector were becoming increasingly difficult for households to bear.

“Extremely high heating costs, extremely high electricity prices, and extremely high fuel prices are putting a strain on households, and the lower the income, the more so,” he said. “The German government will therefore launch another relief package.”

The costs of heating and electricity have hit record highs in the past few months due to post-pandemic supply issues. 

This dramatic rise in prices has already prompted the government to introduce a range of measures to ease the burden on households, including abolishing the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) levy earlier than planned, offering grants to low-income households and increasing the commuter allowance. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What Germany’s relief package against rising prices means for you

But since Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24th, the attack has been driving up energy prices further, Habeck explained.

He added that fears of supply shortages and speculation on the market were currently making the situation worse. 

How will the package work?

When defining the new relief measures, the Economics Ministry will use three criteria, Habeck revealed. 

Firstly, the measures must span all areas of the energy market, including heating costs, electricity and mobility. 

Heating is the area where households are under the most pressure. The ministry estimates that the gas bill for an average family in an unrenovated one-family house will rise by about €2,000 this year. 

Secondly, the package should include measures to help save energy, such as reducing car emissions or replacing gas heating systems.

Thirdly, market-based incentives should be used to ensure that people who use less energy also have lower costs. 

“The government will now put together the entire package quickly and constructively in a working process,” said Habeck.

Fuel subsidy

The three-point plan outlined by the Green Party politician are not the only relief proposals being considered by the government.

According to reports in German daily Bild, Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FPD) is allegedly considering introducing a state fuel subsidy for car drivers.

The amount of the subsidy – which hasn’t yet been defined – would be deducted from a driver’s bill when paying at the petrol station. 

The operator of the petrol station would then have to submit the receipts to the tax authorities later in order to claim the money back. 

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, fuel prices have risen dramatically in Germany: diesel has gone up by around 66 cents per litre, while a litre of E10 has gone up by around 45 cents.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The everyday products getting more expensive in Germany

As well as support for consumers, the government is currently working on a credit assistance programme to assist German companies that have been hit hard by the EU sanctions against Russia.

As reported by Bild on Saturday, bridging aid is also being discussed for companies that can no longer manage the sharp rise in raw material prices.

In addition, an extension of the shorter working hours (Kurzarbeit) scheme beyond June 30th is allegedly being examined, as well as a further increase in the commuter allowance.

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