China is giving automakers an extra year to prepare for phasing out fossil-fuel powered vehicles in the world’s largest auto market, reports Bloomberg. Carmakers will need to fulfil e-car quotas from 2019, one year later than originally planned, or face penalties. “China is sending a clear signal to large automakers that had been dragging their feet on EVs that it’s time to get on board,” said Colin McKerracher, a London-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
German automakers BMW AG and Volkswagen AG said they welcomed the introduction of the quotas. The companies had lobbied fiercely for a relaxation of China's e-car ambitions.
Read the article here.
Find background in the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
China's e-car quota means electric mobility is the propulsion system of the future, writes Christoph Giesen in a commentary in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The debate is over. Discussions about fuel cells, which are still taking place in Germany, will soon be no more than academic excursions.” If China, the world’s largest car market by far, bets on electric mobility, “the world will follow,” concludes Giesen.
Read the commentary in German here.
RAG-Stiftung / Clean Energy Wire
To mark the end of hard coal mining in Germany, players from rival football clubs Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 and other clubs in the western German Ruhr coal mining area will team up for a friendly match against the Polish national team in 2018, writes hard coal mining foundation RAG-Stiftung in a press release. The match is one of more than 100 projects organised by the foundation to commemorate hard coal mining history and mark its end. Polish miners have played a significant role in hard coal mining in Germany in the 20th century. A number of successful football players at Ruhr Valley clubs have been of Polish descent. Germany’s two last deep coal mining pits in Bottrop and Ibbenbüren will shut down in 2018.
Tagesschau.de / FAZ / Focus Magazine
Four-way exploratory talks ahead of negotiations for a government coalition of CDU, CSU, FDP and Greens (known as a 'Jamaica' coalition, due to party colours) are likely to start only after the state parliamentary election in Lower Saxony on 15 October, reports Tagesschau.de, citing CDU sources. The conservative parties CDU and CSU will start two-way talks on 8 October, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Chief of the German chancellery Peter Altmaier would like to see a government formed by Christmas, but “the content is what counts, not the date,” he said in an interview with Focus Magazine.
For background, read the CLEW factsheets The long road to a new government coalition in Germany and Climate & energy stumbling blocks for Jamaica-coalition talks.
The Greens’ Kerstin Andreae and FDP’s Otto Fricke, both members of the Bundestag, debated the parties’ policy differences and potential stumbling blocks for coalition talks in a joint interview in WirtschaftsWoche. Asked if the Greens’ proposal to immediately shut down the twenty dirtiest coal power plants was an option, Fricke said: “This probably includes the lignite plants which the SPD-Greens government in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has supported until now. We will re-think, I ensure you.” Andreae doubted that the FDP would be willing to shut down the coal plants. “In NRW you agreed on the opposite in a new coalition and declared lignite a bridging technology,” she said to Fricke.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Climate & energy stumbling blocks for Jamaica coalition talks.
As the Greens exert pro-environment pressure on the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the FDP will be pulling Merkel and her party in the other direction in possible coalition talks after the German election, write Gero Rueter and Ruby Russell in an article for Deutsche Welle.
Find the article in English here.
BMW and Daimler are among the most active investors in new mobility start-ups, according to an analysis by consultancy Oliver Wyman. BMW has shares in 37 start-ups, Daimler in 36, and General Motors in 35. Global market leaders Toyota and Volkswagen trail behind with 18 and 12 investments. The activity shows carmakers have understood they need to catch up, but many lack a clear focus, according to Wyman.
Read the article in German (behind paywall) here.
Find the Oliver Wyman press release in German here.
Find background in the factsheets Early e-car starter BMW plans new mobility sprint, Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.
A court in Lower Saxony ruled against objections by environmental organisations and decided that chemical company Dow may build a coal-fired power plant in the northern German state, reports Gernot Knödler in the tageszeitung (taz). The plaintiffs had argued that the construction of a new coal-fired power plant was not in line with Germany’s climate targets. The project is the last planned coal plant in northern Germany for the foreseeable future, writes Knödler.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?
Europe could cover more than 37 percent of its electricity demand with wind power turbines by the end of the next decade, an analysis by Wind Europe says. The industry association has modelled three different scenarios for wind power investment levels and policy conditions, in which the highest scenario for the development of the renewable energy source forecasts nearly 400 gigawatt (GW) of installed capacity by 2030. This corresponds to more than 350 billion euros in investments both on- and offshore and an achievement of the EU’s 35 percent renewable energy target by that time, Wind Europe’s report says. The lowest scenario, on the other hand, anticipates around 250 GW of wind power installed by 2030, roughly corresponding to 150 billion euros in investments and a 22 percent renewables share of EU power supply. In the central scenario, wind power covers close to 30 percent of Europe's power supply with 323 GW, 85 of which come from the largest wind power country Germany.
See the CLEW article Booming German wind power sector fears 2019 cliff and the factsheet German onshore wind power– output, business, and perspectives for background.
Federal Statistical Office
The mining and manufacturing industry in Germany contributed 11.2 percent of the country’s gross power production in 2016, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) has said in a press release. With a total of 54 terawatt hours, the share was 0.8 percentage points higher than in the previous year, Destatis says. “In the first place, the industrial power plants meet internal demand, but in many instances electricity is supplied to other local units or exported to the public electricity grid,” the press release says. According to the statisticians, industrial plants sourced almost 12 percent of their power from coal and nearly 47 percent from natural gas.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.