German green trade venture launched

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Hamburg electric utility HEW and oil company Deutsche Shell are to co-operate in a new green power trading venture. Initially, the two companies will market power from wind, photovoltaic, biomass and hydro plant to customers in the Hamburg area, expanding later to the whole of Germany. Neither nuclear nor electricity generated with emissions of CO2 will be allowed in the mix.

The two companies hope the venture will catalyse new renewable energy plant in Germany. Household consumers will be targeted to pay a premium of about DEM 0.1/kWh for green power. HEW admits that to keep the premium low, especially with solar generation in the Hamburg area costing DEM 2/kWh, the power mix will contain a substantial share of hydro.

The joint venture seems to be slanted towards solar energy-although HEW supports wind power generation by paying DEM 0.1/kWh more than the state imposed rate under the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff law. Shell has experience with photovoltaic plant and is close to market entry with a new solar cell product with an energy amortisation period of one year, compared with seven to nine years for conventional silicon cells, reports HEW.

Shell has 42 filling stations in the Hamburg area with roofs suitable for photovoltaic plant-and the station network is deemed ideal for marketing renewables power.

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