29 May 2018, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Climate economist to co-head coal task force -media/ Electric milk van

tageszeitung (taz) / Clean Energy Wire

The commission tasked with planning the phase-out of coal-fired power production in Germany will get a climate expert as its fourth co-leader, Malte Kreutzfeldt reports in the Tageszeitung (taz). The climate and energy economist Barbara Praetorius is said to join the so-called coal commission after environmental organisations and opposition parties had criticised that the original cast of three politicians as commission leaders showed bias towards the interests of Germany’s coal industry. Praetorius teaches at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences and was deputy director at the German energy policy think tank Agora Energiewende.* The cabinet’s decision on launching the commission has been postponed two times already but, according to Kreutzfeld, it will likely stick to its third launching date on Wednesday, 30 May. A spokesperson at the German economy and energy ministry (BMWi) told the Clean Energy Wire it was not sure whether the commission could be launched at the scheduled date as negotiations were still in full swing. The spokesperson also declined to confirm that a fourth co-leader had been found for the commission.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out.

*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

University St. Gallen / Greenpeace

Seventy-five percent of Germans say the country’s new government should introduce a law for a gradual coal exit without delay, according to an in-depth online survey and analysis by the University St. Gallen, commissioned by Greenpeace. But only 43 percent in the affected eastern German lignite mining region Lusatia agree. Sixty-four percent of participants from the Rhenish lignite region support the speedy introduction of a coal exit law. The results indicate that the population’s acceptance would be greater with an earlier coal exit, writes the analysis author Adrian Rinscheid. The survey was conducted in January 2018.

Find the survey results and analysis in German here and the Greenpeace press release in German here.

For plenty of background, read the factsheets When will Germany finally ditch coal? and the article Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out.


Representatives of consumer protection and energy-intensive industry should be part of the upcoming so-called ‘coal exit commission’ to ensure that cost arguments are taken into account, writes German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI) director-general Utz Tillmann in a guest commentary in Handelsblatt. “The costs of the energy transition need to be considered more than they have until now,” writes Tillmann. Raised renewables share ambitions in the country’s power mix by 2030 meant higher costs over the coming years. Should the coal exit happen too fast, power prices will rise and supply security could be endangered, writes Tillmann.

Read the guest commentary (behind paywall) in German here.

For background, read the article Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out and the dossier Energiewende effects on power prices, costs and industry.

European Commission

Germany needs to recover millions of euros in illegal aid from certain large electricity users exempted from grid charges in Germany in 2012-2013 after the European Commission declared past regulation was against EU State aid rules. “Fully exempting certain large users from these charges is an unfair advantage and increases the financial burden on other electricity users,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a press release. Large users avoided paying an estimated 300 million euros, says the release. It was true that large users with a stable power consumption generated fewer network costs, but there is “no objective justification” for a full exemption, said the Commission. “Each user should pay for the costs it causes to the network”, but a partial reduction of fees is justified. Germany now needed to determine the amount and recover the illegal aid.

Find the press release in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Power grid fees- Unfair and opaque?

The U.K. home delivery business Milk & More has ordered 200 electric vans produced by the Deutsche Post subsidiary StreetScooter, Deutsche Post DHL Group said in a press release. Milk & More aims to make the delivery of milk and other fresh produce “quieter and more environmentally friendly”, said DHL. StreetScooter GmbH also makes its cloud-based charging management expertise available to Milk & More.

Find the press release in English here.

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

Handelsblatt Global

Germany’s transport minister Andreas Scheuer quizzed Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche over the extend of possible emissions-cheating software in the company’s models, write Franz Hubik and Brian Hanrahan in Handelsblatt Global. The talks came after the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) said it had found illegal software in one of its models. Scheuer gave Daimler a two-week deadline to respond to the accusations and say how many models are affected. Daimler has long dismissed any link to the environmental scandal that has cost rival Volkswagen tens of billions of Euros in fines, refits and recalls, write Hubik and Hanrahan.

Find the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and "Dieselgate" - a timeline of Germany's car emissions fraud scandal.

Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has published the English version of its position paper Coal-fired power generation and climate protection until 2030, a discussion contribution for achieving climate targets in Germany, first published in November 2017.

Find the paper in English here.

For background, read the factsheets When will Germany finally ditch coal? and the article Germany gears up for official talks on coal phase-out.

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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