Meanwhile, in Germany…

On 9 January, a Catholic church in Immerath, a city in western Germany, was destroyed to make way for the expansion of a gigantic coal (lignite) mine operated by RWE. This demolition took place in spite of protests by residents and environmental campaigners.

These images, which seem to come from another time, evoke the drama of the village of Tignes being swallowed up in 1952, the last inhabitants having to be evacuated by force by the police. But at the time, Tignes had to support efforts to rebuild the country, and the electricity involved was green (even if electricity then was colour-blind).

We’re also learning that, in Germany, the displacement of people in connection to coal mining is also affecting Lusatia, an eastern region near Poland, where entire villages have been wiped off the map. In 2007, a 750-year-old church was moved 12 kilometres from Heuersdorf to Borna (in the East) on two rolling platforms, at a cost of 3 million euros, in order to prevent its destruction.

Indeed, Immerath had already become a ghost town in 2013, when its 900 inhabitants, their houses, the 18th-century Stations of the Cross and other village monuments were relocated to Immerath Neu, a new site sprung from the earth in the same municipality of Erkelenz, in North Rhine-Westphalia, as part of an immense relocation plan affecting a total of 7,600 inhabitants of the region.

The environmental campaigners, with banners covered in slogans such as, ’He who destroys culture also destroys people’, were powerless to stop it.

This ‘minor news item’ reminds us that, beyond political discourse, the reality of electrical power generation in Europe in general and Germany in particular continues to be dependent on coal: coal and lignite still produce 40% of Germany’s electricity.

The price of coal is therefore still the primary factor in the indexation and evolution of electricity prices on the continental plate. (see figure below):

While Germany has just created a new grand coalition government (CDU/CSU/SPD) with the signing of a new government contract (Koalitionsvertrag) introduced on 7/2/2018, we can legitimately ask ourselves: what will remain of October 2010’s Energiewende?

This energy revolution had been written into the Koalitionsvertrag of a similar grand coalition at the time, and called in particular for a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 (with respect to the 1990 level), an 80% reduction by 2050 and a higher penetration of renewable energies in the electrical power generation market: 35% in 2020, 50% in 2030, 65% in 2040 and 80% in 2050.

Germany is ahead of the game in this latter goal, with 38% renewable energy, and the new government has even committed to reaching 65% from 2030 (i.e. 10 years early). On the other hand, the coalition agreement remains silent on the objective of reducing CO2 and specifies that the exit from coal must be made step-by-step (schrittweise).

In this respect, with a reduction of only 27.9% in 2015 (and a slight increase since then), the target seems permanently out of reach. Agora Energiewende even predicts that the 2020 target will be missed by…120 million tons of CO2 equivalent (i.e. more than 4 times the total emissions of the French electrical power sector in 2016).

It truly seems that, faced with the choice of a policy of industrial development (roll out of renewable energies) or of combating climate change, the decision-makers are clearly demonstrating their agnostic pragmatism.

And churches can fall…

Philippe Boulanger

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Each month, one of our experts publishes an article describing his view on a specific topic of the constant changes taking place in the energy market, with special focus on the French market.

Profesional Experience

Céline, a young and dynamic person, had a first experience in the tourism sector as a community manager at Loups du Gévaudan, in Lozère. She joined HES team in November 2021 to diversify her knowledge: learning about the energy sector, specialising in marketing strategies in order to improve the company’s customer relations and, at the same time, developing her skills in coordination and project management.

Education

Céline graduated in Spanish and English Language, Literature and Civilisation at La Sorbonne IV (2018). She also holds a master’s degree II in cultural projects and establishments management, with a special focus on international tourism. She also studied abroad at the University of London (England) and Universidad de Morón (Argentina).

Céline Haya Sauvage

Marketing Responsible

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“Decarbonization of the Energy and Transport sectors is arguably today’s main economic driver for the industry.”

Profesional Experience

His career started in civil engineering as a Project Manager in France, Martinique and Australia. Afterwards, he became the General Manager of a subsidiary in Venezuela. In 1992, he established Dalkia in Germany (district heating, cogeneration, and partnerships) and represented Véolia in Thailand. In 2000, he opened the commercial office of Endesa in France to take advantage of the liberalized retail market. From 2006, as a development Manager at Endesa France, he led Endesa’s plan for Combined Cycle generation in France and developed the wind and PV portfolio of Snet at the same time. Philippe Boulanger worked for 3 years at E.ON’s headquarters coordinating the company´s activities in France. He was strongly involved in the French hydro concession renewal project. As a Senior Vice President – Project Director at Solvay Energy Services from April 2012 to February 2014 he was in charge of the H2/Power to gas and European direct market access deployment projects. Philippe has been an HES expert since 2014.

Education

Philippe Boulanger holds engineering degrees both from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale des Ponts & Chaussées (France) and has a combined experience of more than 25 years in energy and infrastructure. In addition to English, Mr. Boulanger is fluent in French, German & Spanish.

Philippe Boulanger

Electricity Expert

HES-Philippe-Boulanger

“The world is changing. New investors pay particular attention to the energy sector while historical actors adapt their position to the market.”

Profesional Experience

Antonio started his career in the electricity sector in 1991 working as a member of staff for the General Manager of Sevillana de Electricidad (Spain). In 1997, he was in charge of the commercial regulation at Endesa Distribution. In 2000, he joined Endesa’s European M&A department. He was appointed CEO of Endesa Power Trading Ltd in 2003. He became Head of Energy Management for SNET, France, in 2004 and was appointed CEO of this company in 2008. In 2009, he held the position of Head of Corporate Development for E.ON France. In 2011, he founded Haya Energy Solutions (HES), a consulting firm which assists companies in optimizing their value chain: from strategy definition to day-to-day operations, based on a strong experience and understanding of the energy industry. From 2015 to 2018, Antonio was Chairman and CEO of 2 French CCGTs (2x410MW), owned by KKR. At the end of 2018, he joined Asterion Industrial Partners, a dedicated infrastructure investment fund, as an Operating Partner.

Education

Antonio graduated from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros of Seville (Spain) and holds an MBA degree from Deusto University (Spain).

Antonio Haya

CEO