03 Feb 2016
Kerstine Appunn

2014 emissions data updated / Vattenfall's losses / Wind record

Federal Environment Agency

“German greenhouse gas emissions fall considerably in 2014”

New data shows that Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions fell to 901.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2014, a 4.6 percent reduction compared to 2013, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) reports. Emissions dropped most in the power sector as the share of fossil fuels was reduced while renewables increased. Thanks to the warm weather, energy usage in the housing sector was also reduced. However, emissions from the transport and agricultural sectors increased.

Read the UBA press release in German here. Get the German emissions data here.



“Low electricity prices put pressure on profitability – continued shift to renewables”

Swedish utility Vattenfall’s 2015 results and profitability are marked by very low electricity prices and their impact on the valuation of its assets, the company said in a press release. Vattenfall, which operates a range of conventional power plants in Germany and is currently looking to sell its lignite and hydropower operations, took further impairment losses (36 billion SEK = 3.9 billion euros) last summer and suggested that it would not pay a dividend for 2015. The company’s losses amounted to 19.8 billion SEK (2.1 billion euros) last year.

Read the press release in English here.



“German wind output hits record 33 GW Monday”

Windy weather led to a new record in wind power production in Germany on Monday, Montel reports. Wind farms generated 33,004 MW, exceeding the former record of 21 December 2015 at 32,956 MW.

Read the story in English here (behind paywall).

Find power generation data for this week here.



“A donation to the upper class”

Germany’s car manufacturers have met with Chancellor Angela Merkel to advertise a state-funded premium payment for future e-car buyers, Lukas Bay writes in the Handelsblatt. But the Chancellor should take a close look at what the car bosses have to offer, otherwise the premium could turn into a hidden subsidy for German luxury car models only, he says. Neither VW (including Audi and Porsche), Daimler or BMW actually have affordable, market-ready e-car models. At 34,900 euros, the cheapest electric VW Golf is double the price of the cheapest fossil-fuelled Golf – so a 5000-euro buyer’s premium helps little, Bay writes. The car manufacturers appear to follow the strategy that a premium would make their plug-in hybrid cars more attractive, he writes. Plug-in hybrids are good for the car companies because they are extremely clean and efficient when tested and can thus help to reduce fleets' emissions averages, the author explains.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the energy transition in the transport sector here.


Zeit online

“Premium without effect”

E-cars, even when charged using the German power mix that is not 100 percent renewable, can contribute to a cleaner environment in cities, says Matthias Breitinger in an op-ed for Zeit online. A buyer’s premium for electric cars may not be extended to plug-in hybrid cars though, he says. Because of their limited battery range, many of these cars end up using petrol for many journeys, reducing their climate and environmental benefits.

Read the op-ed in German here.



“New carpool for MPs”

The German parliament in Berlin is looking to make its carpool more climate friendly, Rainer Worotschka reports in the Tagesspiegel. A new operator would offer a 20 percent share of electric cars, the article says.

Read the article in German here.


Technische Universität Dresden

“Buyer’s premium for e-cars can be an important component”

A study by the Technische Universität Dresden that polled e-car drivers both in Germany and abroad, showed that financial incentives were the most important argument to buy an e-car around the world, while for Germans the personal motivation to drive a clean car was the most important incentive. The researchers also found that a buyer’s premium would enlarge the target group that would buy electric vehicles significantly. A premium of 5000 euros would trigger the purchase of 60,000 e-cars, they estimate.

Read the press release in German here and the study here.



“Affordable plus-energy housing for refugees”

Quick additional housing for refugees could be built without lowering efficiency standards. If using solar power, the “living modules” proposed by an architect from Freiburg could produce more power per year than they use, pv-magazine reports. Architect Rolf Disch has created the living modules which include insulated walls and a solar power panel on the roof. The modules would be more expensive than the non-insulated, classic steel containers, Disch says, but at 1800 euros per square metre for a settlement of 20 modules, they would be much cheaper than regular newly built flats.

Read the article in German here.


All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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Kerstine Appunn

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