13 Jun 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn

Battle over renewables act continues / ‘Insane’ efficiency support

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Don’t miss the transition”

Renewable energies have become so cheap that many countries have started an Energiewende, only for Germany to hit the brakes with its reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), writes Eicke Weber, head of solar research institute Fraunhofer ISE, in a commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “From a technical and economical point of view, there are no convincing arguments for slowing down renewables,” writes Weber. “Not to mention the climate targets agreed in Paris.”

Read the commentary in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet EEG reform 2016 – switching to auctions for renewables, and the article Wind development has to wait for grid expansion.


PV Magazine

“EEG reform: Green Party calls for annual PV addition of 5 gigawatt”

The Green Party group in parliament would like to see some changes made to the reform proposal of the Renewable Energy Act that will be debated in the coming weeks in parliament. Spokesperson Julia Verlinden told PV Magazine in an interview that PV installations of under 1 megawatt (the current proposal sets the limit at 750 kilowatt) should be exempt from participating in auctions. PV tenders should be organised so that additional capacity of 5 gigawatt annually would be possible, Verlinden said. The current proposal envisages yearly solar additions of 2.5 gigawatts.

Read the interview in German here.

See a CLEW factsheet “EEG reform 2016 – switching to auctions for renewables”.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Efficient night”

The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, under pressure from industry, has agreed to a late night change to the reform proposal of the Renewable Energy Act, writes Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Energy intensive industries that are using more than 14 percent of their added value for electricity will pay a reduced renewables surcharge on the power they buy. Originally, the ministry wanted to increase the limit to 17 percent. Christian Noll, head of energy efficiency initiative Deneff, tells the paper that this change will cost millions and make power more expensive for everybody.

Read the article in German here.

“Federal government reduces wind expansion more than announced”

The wind expansion allocation of 2,800 megawatts could end up being more like 2,500 megawatts, the Schleswig-Holsteinischer Zeitungsverlag (shz) reports. This is because the draft law of the new Renewable Energy Act actually envisages 10 percent of the auctioned wind capacity never to be build. Schleswig-Holstein’s energy transition minister Robert Habeck, from the Green Party, wants to see this fixed in the parliamentary process. He also calls for a wider range of options to use excess wind power locally, e.g. in hydrogen production, storage or electric mobility. The draft law currently only allows this power to be used for combined heat and power solutions.

Read the article in German here.


Die Welt

“Many wind turbines, little effect”

Energy minister Sigmar Gabriel gives the impression that the reforms will put the energy transition firmly on track for completion, writes Daniel Wetzel in a commentary in Die Welt. But this is far from the truth, as not much has happened in heating and transport to achieve climate targets, and huge amounts of renewable power will be needed for the “gigantic task”. “Nobody should give in to the illusion that the worst is over for the Energiewende,” writes Wetzel. “The radical change in the way we live and run our economy, still lies ahead.” He argues an emissions trading system would be much better suited to the task than the inefficient state interventionism with ever more regulations and higher taxes.

Read the commentary in German here


Die Welt

“Support insanity”

There are so many support programmes for building efficiency renovations in Germany that home owners are confused and don’t know where to apply, says Richard Haimann in an article for Die Welt. The government wants to promote home insulation and the installation of new heating systems but for more than a decade the modernisation rate stays below 1 percent. There are over 5,000 support programmes but home owners don’t know about them or they only support large renovation projects that they can’t afford even with the state support, the article says.

Read the article in German here.


Reuters /

“This is how Germany gambles away the energy transition”

Offshore wind park “Emden Ost”, north of the island of Borkum in the North Sea, will be completed by 2019. The transformer platform and the cable to bring the power on shore will also be finished but the necessary grid connection on land is likely to not be finished before 2021, Reuters reports. As of 2019, the operators of Emden Ost will receive up to 900 million euros annually in compensation for the power that cannot be transported, Member of Parliament Michael Fuchs from the conservative Christian Democratic Party (CDU) tells the news agency.

Read the report in German here.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Handelsblatt

“Daimler starts electric offensive”

Daimler pushes the electrification of its Mercedes cars by developing a common electric architecture for the entire model range, according to an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We invest massively into electro-mobility, and we are convinced that the market is ready,” said head of Daimler research Thomas Weber. A new off-road model, which is slated to hit the market in autumn 2017, combines a fuel cell with a plug-in battery, to get a range of 500 kilometres. The company plans to unveil details of an entirely new electric car, which appears to be directed at Tesla, at the Paris car show this autumn, according to the article. It is meant to go on sale in 2018. According to an article on Handelsblatt, Daimler aims to sell at least 100,000 e-cars by 2020.

Read the Handelsblatt article in German here.  

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector and the factsheet The role of biofuel and hydrogen in Germany's transport Energiewende.

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.
« previous news next news »


Sören Amelang

Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee