02 May 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Blockchain & battery "revolution" / Diesel drivers ponder switch

Süddeutsche Zeitung / Die Welt

Power grid operator Tennet and household power storage provider Sonnen plan to use a network of small-scale batteries to help reduce costs caused by grid bottlenecks between Germany’s windy North and the power-hungry South, reports Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “We want to integrate renewable power in the best possible way,” Tennet board chair Urban Keussen told the newspaper. “We can manage that not only with copper, but also with intelligence.” Sonnen managing director Philipp Schröder said that in a first stage, 6,000 batteries would be used to optimise the power grid. Households making their batteries available for the project, which will use blockchain encryption technology, will receive free power, according to the article. Keussen told newspaper Die Welt the use of blockchain was “the first step into a new energy world.”

Read the Süddeutsche article in German here.

Read the Die Welt article in German here.

Read the Tennet press release in German here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The use of batteries to level out intermittent solar and wind generation in the Tennet and Sonnen project shows that “the Energiewende is making progress,” writes Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “New offshore wind parks have been approved recently without a cent of eco power support, and now there is evidence for a revolution in the German power grid. For the first time, a grid operator will get access to thousands of small decentralised power storages all over Germany.”

For background on the offshore auction, read the CLEW article Operators to build offshore wind farms without support payments.

Forsa / dpa

Only two in five diesel car drivers plan to stick with the technology when buying their next car, while the rest are unsure or want to switch to an alternative drive, according to a survey by pollster forsa, reports news agency dpa. Most respondents said they would buy a petrol-fuelled car, while pure e-cars were not very popular, writes dpa.

Read the article in German here.

For more information, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

dpa / Welt Online

The preparation procedure for building Germany’s high-voltage transmission highway SuedLink has entered a crucial stage, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Welt Online. Following submission of the sectoral planning application for SuedLink’s last segment in the southern federal state of Baden-Württemberg, German federal grid agency BNetzA can now start the formal approval procedure for the 800-kilometre-long power line meant to transfer electricity from Germany’s windy north to industrial centres in the south, the article says. 
In a separate article on Welt Online, dpa reports that about 3,000 people forming a human chain in the central German state of Thuringia protested against SuedLink’s construction. The transmission highway made the federal state the “pack animal” of German energy policy, protesters lamented according to the article.

Read the articles in German here and here.

For more information, read the CLEW news digest entry Merkel on grid expansion: “We’re behind it at all levels”.

Bild am Sonntag (BamS) / Deutsche See

German postal service Deutsche Post has found the first major customer for its in-house produced electric vehicle Street Scooter, Florian Zerfass writes in weekly Bild am Sonntag (BamS). Fish wholesaler Deutsche See is buying 80 scooters for distributing its products in Germany’s inner cities, Zerfass writes.
Deutsche See CEO Egbert Miebach told BamS he had been trying to reduce his company’s CO2 emissions for years and bought 500 VW cars with allegedly climate-friendly diesel technology in 2010. After VW’s diesel emissions fraud scandal emerged in 2015, Deutsche See sued the carmaker for almost twelve million euros in damages.
Deutsche Post recently announced plans to double the production capacity of its Street Scooter to 20,000, making it the country’s largest e-car producer. Deutsche See’s scooter will be the first electric van with a modern cooling system, partly powered by a PV membrane on the car’s roof, the company said in a press release.

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

For background, see the CLEW factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) have issued a paper outlining the party’s economic policy ideas meant to substantiate their candidate Martin Schulz’s position in his bid to become German chancellor, Henrike Roßbach writes in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The paper written by the SPD’s energy policy spokesman suggests lowering the electricity tax in order to allow small and mid-sized companies to invest more money into the digitalisation of their businesses, Roßbach says. “Given the already high and further mounting share of green power, this no longer is an eco-tax but rather a mere funding of the state,” argues Hubertus Heil, deputy chair of the SPD parliamentary group.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW news digest entry SPD to make energy efficiency a post-election priority for more information.


The German Free Democratic Party (FDP) approved its election campaign programme at a federal party conference. The FDP wants to “end the sustained subsidies system of the EEG [Renewable Energy Act]” with its priority grid access and feed-in tariffs for renewables. Clean Energy Wire reported on the draft earlier this year; there are no changes to the main provisions.

Find the programme in German here and a summary of the main energy and climate policy provisions in English here.

For other party’s programmes and more on the elections year read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.

Rheinische Post

Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), was “the key state for the energy transition” and needs to exit coal, former state environment minister and Green politician Bärbel Höhn said at an election rally, writes Thomas Peter in Rheinische Post. “Nobody but the Green Party can make that happen; the Social Democrats still cling to coal,” said Höhn. NRW will elect a new state government on 14 May.

Read the article in German here.

For more information on the election year read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende, and also read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

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