12 Jul 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Cities consider diesel ban / Co-ops fear end of 'energy revolution'

Automobilwoche / Spiegel Online

Several German cities, including Berlin, Munich, Bremen, and Stuttgart, are considering banning older diesel cars in order to bring harmful nitrogen oxide emissions within EU limits, according to a survey by press agency dpa. The ban would mean only cars with a "blue badge" dependant on meeting Euro-6 emission limits could enter restricted zones. But the cities also say there is currently no legal basis for such a ban. Munich and Berlin said residents and businesses should be granted exceptions and transition periods to avoid social hardship, according to an article in Automobilwoche.
According to a Spiegel report, only 1.3 million of Germany’s 14.5 diesel cars would be eligible for the “blue badge”. The environment ministry said it hoped to decide on how to proceed this autumn.

Read the Automobilwoche article in German here and the Spiegel report here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Financial Times

The reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) could spell the end for Germany’s grassroots energy cooperatives, reports Guy Chazan in the Financial Times. The new auction system poses large financial risks for cooperatives, members of the sector told Chazan.

Read the article in English here.

For background on the reform, read the new CLEW dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act and the factsheet EEG reform 2016 – switching to auctions for renewables.

Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA)

The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has received 718 applications for the e-car buyer’s premium since the official launch on 2 July, according to a press release. The most popular models were BMW’s i3 (127 applications) and Renault’s ZOE (115 applications). “The number of applications met expectations, even if demand is somewhat subdued compared to the 150,000 applications in the first days of the introduction of the car-scrap bonus,” said BAFA president Arnold Wallraff. Germany introduced a car-scrappage scheme to encourage drivers to upgrade their vehicles in the wake of the financial crisis in 2009.

Read the press release here.

Read a CLEW article on the introduction of the premium here.


Researchers at Aachen University have developed a small electric car go on the market for 12,500 euros from 2018, reports Wolfgang Kempkens for Wirtschaftswoche. The same team was responsible for the development of the Streetscooter now used by Deutsche Post. Unlike most e-cars, which are basically conventional models with the combustion engine exchanged for an electric one, the new vehicle was specifically designed as an e-car, according to the report. It is a two-seater with a range of 80 kilometres.

Read the report in German here.

pv magazine

The passing of a new law on the “Digitalisation of the Energiewende” in the second house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, has been overshadowed by the vote on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), according to an article in pv magazine. Among other things, the law regulates the introduction of smart meters and a cap on their installation costs. The Bundesrat also warned of “unreasonable costs for consumers, producers, smart meter operators, as well as grid operators” and called for a regular cost-benefit analysis after the enactment of the law, writes pv magazine. 

Read the article in German here.

Read a press release by the economy ministry in German here.

Find the text of the draft on the “Digitalisation of the Energiewende” in German here.


The German federal government has insisted that the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA will not threaten the country’s support system for green electricity, writes Reuters. “Of course, the German Energiewende is not in danger,” said a spokesperson for the economics ministry. The environmental organisation Greenpeace had published internal TTIP negotiation documents and said that some provisions could threaten central instruments of Germany’s energy transition.

See the article in German here.

Netztransparenz / pv magazine

Germany’s ‘green energy account’ had a surplus of 3,688,937,633.01 euros in June 2016, according to new figures published by the four transmission grid operators (TSOs). This is about 500 million euros less than in June 2015. The TSOs provide a balance of income (mostly from the EEG surcharge and electricity sales at market prices) and expenses (feed-in tariffs for green energy) on a monthly basis. According to an article in pv magazine, the surplus traditionally falls during the summer months, when feed-in from solar PV and the resulting tariffs are high.

Read the article in German here.

Find the detailed account sheet by the transmission grid operators in German here.

Find out more in CLEW’s factsheet Balancing the books: Germany's "green energy account".

bizz energy

One of the last minute changes to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) reform could boost local use of solar power, with profound consequences for the German energy market, reports Manuel Berkel in bizz energy. Power that tenants use from a PV array installed on the roof of their house will be partly exempt from the green energy surcharge in the future. But the impact of this change is still highly uncertain as many details are yet to be worked out, according to Berkel.  

Read the article in German here.

Aurora Energy Research / WirtschaftsWoche

German power plant operators would likely not be overburdened by a partial coal exit aimed at meeting the country’s climate targets, but emissions would shift to neighbouring countries, according to a new study by British consultancy Aurora Energy Research. A summary of the study seen by Clean Energy Wire suggests that under current policies Germany is set to miss its climate targets for 2030.  Titled "Closing the emissions gap: Germany’s 2030 climate policy options in the power sector"  the study examines three different scenarios that would allow Germany to meet its targets: a coal exit by 2040; a regional CO2-floor price for a selected group of ambitious countries; and the focused development of cogeneration power plants.

Read an article on the study in WirtschaftsWoche 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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