18 May 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Cabinet approves e-car subsidies / EU nuclear paper causes storm

Federal government

“Tax breaks and buyer’s premium agreed to”

The government cabinet has agreed to an e-car buyer’s premium worth 4,000 euros and ten-year tax breaks for new electric vehicles. There will be further incentives for employees and employers to make the installation of charging stations at the workplace more attractive, according to the press release. The government and carmakers will share the costs for the buyer’s premium, which will be granted until the government share of 600 million euros runs out, or until 2019 at the latest.
Economy and Energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement progress on electro mobility was necessary to secure the future of Germany’s car industry. “Growth in demand will trigger important and necessary investments along the entire value chain of electro mobility.”
The government aims to have one million e-cars on the road by 2020, but many experts believe it will miss this target.

Find the government press release in German here.  

Find the press release from the ministry for economics and energy in German here.

Read CLEW’s Dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Also read CLEW’s article Federal government decides on 4,000 euro buyer's premium for e-cars.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

Merkel promises parliamentarians close cooperation on reform of Renewable Energy Act

Members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats in parliament are angry about the agreement on e-car incentives including a buyer’s premium, reports Robert Rossmann in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Merkel has responded by promising members of the party’s economics committee close cooperation on the pending reform of the Renewable Energy Act, according to Rossmann. Members of the committee are among the fiercest critics of the current Renewable Energy Act and have called for a slowdown in renewable roll-out.

Read the article in German here.

“Who brakes, loses”

The record renewable share of German power consumption over the past two weekends should be a reason to celebrate - but the grid was overloaded, writes Lars Fischer in a commentary on the website of science magazine Spektrum der Wissenschaft. The government wants to slow down the Energiewende because of grid bottlenecks with its reform of the Renewable Energy Act, but this is the wrong strategy, according to Fischer. He says it must become a top priority to modernise the grid, because the regulation of the power market prevents incentives for alternative solutions, like local storage units.

Read the commentary in German here.

For background on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act, read CLEW’s Factsheet EEG reform 2016 – switching to auctions for renewables.

Also read CLEW’s article Auctions to set the price for wind and solar - the debate.


Die Welt

“German lead on mercury emissions”

German coal power plants are among Europe’s largest emitters of poisonous mercury, but the government refuses to tighten up regulations, reports Martin Greive in Die Welt. The environment ministry argues that stricter limits in Germany could bring about only marginal improvements, adding that only a global emissions reduction would bring significant health benefits. The Green Party said emissions in Germany could be reduced considerably and calls the government’s position a “capitulation of health and climate policy”.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“EU Commission denies new nuclear plans”

A spokesperson of the European Commission called alleged plans by the EU to push for the construction of nuclear mini-reactors “a non-story”, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The document referred to was not final and just the basis for further discussion on future areas of research within the EU. The spokesperson emphasised that the European Union stood by its position that member states had to decide whether they want to use nuclear power.

Read the article in German here.


Deutsche Welle

“Nuclear power uproar a waste of energy”

The German uproar over an alleged European Commission plan for nuclear power was nothing more than a “storm in a teacup”, writes Bernd Riegert in an opinion piece for Deutsche Welle. The reactions by German ministers Sigmar Gabriel and Barbara Hendricks were exaggerated, as the individual countries decide on nuclear power development. “The EU is not even responsible for energy policy, so the accusation that the Commission wants to build new nuclear reactors is simply wrong,” writes Riegert and adds: “It is fair to question whether EU taxpayer money should be used to promote new type of reactors as the paper suggests. It is a point that will have to be discussed.”

Read the opinion piece in English here.



“Nuclear power, yes please!”

The European Union will not get out of using nuclear power for quite some time, writes Thomas Ludwig in Handelsblatt. A growing need for electricity, the desire to become independent of Russian natural gas supply, and the EU’s climate goals were the main reasons. The use of nuclear power was a reality within the EU, with many new reactors planned. Against this backdrop, research and innovation in the sector are of growing importance, writes Ludwig.

Read the article in German here.


Die Welt

“Nuclear option for climate protection”

Daniel Wetzel of Die Welt has criticised EU plans to push for the development in the nuclear power sector as an attempt to make out that nuclear power is a “practicable option for climate protection”. The leaked EU Commission document fed the suspicion that the “German energy transitioners live on a completely different planet” than the rest of Europe, writes Wetzel in an opinion piece. “By way of subsidies, Brussels is now supposed to make nuclear power profitable again on behalf of these countries. Germany should oppose the suggestion simply because this kind of approved aid would distort European electricity prices”, writes Wetzel.

Read the opinion piece in German here.


Forschungszentrum Jülich / BMWi

Database on energy research projects

The interdisciplinary research institute Forschungszentrum Jülich maintains a beta version of a searchable database on energy research projects funded by the German government. The database – EnArgus – is provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and includes information such as the funding amount, the period of financial support and the funding authority. The project was started in 2011 and the platform is updated regularly.

Find the database EnArgus (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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Sven Egenter

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