German carmakers and suppliers are reluctant to agree to battery cell production in Europe despite the recent EU Commission initiative to build an “Airbus for batteries”, reports Joachim Becker in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Industry managers argue that even Asian market leaders Panasonic, LG and Samsung currently do not earn money with EV batteries despite their large technological head start, making cell production an extremely costly and risky investment. Some suppliers, such as Bosch, believe it might be more promising to invest in an entirely new generation of battery technology.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
German utility E.ON uses a smart grid with solar and wind energy, as well as a large battery, to supply a Swedish village exclusively with renewable electricity. “In order to support the balancing of the local energy system, customers are engaged to become flexible ‘prosumers’, by producing energy through PV and battery systems,” according to an E.ON press release. “But they also will be ‘smart consumers’, by having steerable load assets – like, for example, heat pumps.”
For background on this topic, read the dossiers Battered utilities take on start-ups in innovation race and The digitalisation of the Energiewende.
Coalition talks between CDU, CSU, FDP and Green Party will be about the parties’ ability “to make something constructive of the differences”, said chancellery chief and Christian Democrat Peter Altmaier in an interview with German public broadcaster ARD after the first round of talks. “Is it possible to reconcile the economy and the environment in a way that allows us to remain a successful economic nation, and still lead in international environment protection? That is one of the big core questions,” said Altmaier. Chancellor Angela Merkel and her team met with FDP and Green Party politicians in separate sessions. Talks will continue today between the Greens and the FDP, before all parties jointly meet for the first time on Friday, 20 October. Germany’s climate targets, the future of coal-fired power generation and other energy-related topics will likely play a big role in the talks.
Watch the video in German here.
For background, read the CLEW article Coalition watch – The making of a new German government and the CLEW factsheets The long road to a new government coalition in Germany and Climate & energy stumbling blocks for Jamaica-coalition talks.
The next German government – possibly a Jamaica coalition of CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party – must get Germany’s climate policy back on track, writes Holger Dambeck in an opinion piece for Spiegel Online. “Above all, the future government parties must dare to ask change of citizens and the economy,” writes Dambeck. The market alone would not solve the problem of climate change, because companies were out for short term gains without paying much attention to long-term effects. “We need government intervention for the energy transition to truly succeed – even the FDP [Free Democratic Party] cannot deny that,” writes Dambeck.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
See the CLEW article Germany set to widely miss climate targets, env ministry warns for background.
Onshore Wind Energy Agency (FA Wind) / Forsa
Sixty-eight percent of Germans say that the future federal government should put more effort into implementing the Energiewende – with just 24 percent claiming the government should continue as before, according to a representative Forsa survey, commissioned by the non-profit association Onshore Wind Energy Agency (FA Wind). Eighty-three percent of respondents say that the use and expansion of onshore wind power is important or very important in light of the nuclear exit and the transition to renewable energies. Sixty percent agree with the statement that the debate about the implementation of the energy transition should not be dominated by discussions about power prices.
Find more Energiewende survey results in CLEW’s factsheet Polls reveal citizens' support for Energiewende.
RWE spinoff Innogy is scouring Silicon Valley and startup hotspots in Tel Aviv, London and Berlin for new ideas on the digitalisation of the energy sector, reports Jürgen Flauger in Handelsblatt. "Digital change will radically transform the energy market," said Innogy CEO Peter Terium. "If you don't actively embrace that and react at an early stage, you'll go down." Innogy’s “Innovation Hub” has looked at 2,000 fledgling outfits and the company has invested in 30 of them. German rivals E.ON and EnBW run similar operations, reports Flauger.
Read the article in English (behind paywall) here.
Find plenty of background in the dossiers Battered utilities take on start-ups in innovation race and The digitalisation of the Energiewende.
National climate policy, in addition to international emissions trading schemes, only produces costs and does not lead to fewer emissions overall, writes economist Joachim Weimann in a guest commentary in German weekly Die Zeit. This is because excess allowances were simply sold to other countries. Germany’s national climate policy has been without effect and even counterproductive, writes Weimann. “Introducing national climate targets as a country that is part of an emissions trading system is foolish.”
Read the guest commentary (behind paywall) in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheets Understanding the European Union’s Emissions Trading System and Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets.
The state parliament of Berlin will decide on an act today that would enshrine into law the year 2030 as the city’s coal exit date - but new emissions limits in 2018 could lead to an earlier phase-out, writes Claudius Prösser in tageszeitung (taz). By the middle of next year, the federal parliament has to adapt power plant emission regulations to an EU decision that prescribes particle matters, sulphur and nitrogen oxide emission limit corridors. All of Berlin’s hard coal power plants – the city has no more lignite power plants – exceeded the strictest possible limits within the EU corridors, so the plants would have to be modernised or shut down. The German Bundestag’s decision next year will be influenced by the current coalition talks to form a new federal government, writes Prösser.
Find the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheets Coalition watch – The making of a new German government and When will Germany finally ditch coal?