29 Jun 2016, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Climate plan draft without clear coal exit time / Majority for nuclear phase-out

Environment Ministry (BMUB) / Germanwatch

A new draft version of the Climate Action Plan 2050 that is to describe the pathway to a decarbonised economy has been leaked (and seen by the Clean Energy Wire). Unlike a former version by the Environment Ministry, the new draft - which was compiled after consultation with the economy and energy ministry - does not include emission reduction targets for each sector. It says that “the importance of power production from coal will decrease” rather than pledging an end “well before 2050”. The previous draft also stated that the transport sector would have to deliver a “disproportionately high” CO2 reduction in the future because it had not reduced emissions at all so far, but the new version says the transport sector has to deliver only an “ambitious” contribution. And the latest version no longer contains the demand that transportation cuts emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 2005.  The aim to have an ecologic tax reform remains in the draft, as does the setting-up of a commission on climate protection, growth and structural change, albeit without the specific task to propose a roadmap for a coal phase-out.
Christoph Bals, policy director at environmental NGO Germanwatch said the new draft was clearly failing to be the central guideline for future climate policy in Germany. “Seven months after the Paris climate summit, the government is surrendering to the interests of the fossil industry and is missing the chance to give the economy a modernisation impulse by presenting clear plans.”
The paper is currently for coordination purposes at the Chancellery. Its final version is expected to be decided upon by the government cabinet after the summer break in September 2016.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the first draft version of the Climate Action Plan 2050.

Read the Germanwatch press release in German here.

Five years after Germany decided (again) to phase-out nuclear energy, 70 percent of the population still agree that this was the right decision, a YouGov poll on behalf of green power company LichtBlick shows. Sixty-seven percent of participants said that the same decision should be made on a European level.

Read the press release in German here.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The biggest dilemma of the new rules to be set for finding a final repository for nuclear waste in Germany is between “time and thoroughness”, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an op-ed for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. On the one hand there has to be a fair process including extensive citizen participation, but on the other hand scientific and technical development could prove all current efforts wrong in the future. There are already dark scenarios being predicted, for example that the search for a nuclear repository will take 131 years, Bauchmüller says.

Spiegel Online

The federal economy ministry proposes to lower the threshold for energy-intensive industries to be eligible for a reduced renewables surcharge, writes Spiegel Online. With this proposed adjustment to the reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), reported by Süddeutsche Zeitung two weeks ago, energy intensive industries that are using more than 14 percent of their added value for electricity will pay only 20 percent of the renewables surcharge on the power they buy. The threshold is currently 17 percent. This could raise the number of eligible companies by the hundreds, according to the proposal seen by Spiegel Online. “The cost would be unloaded on all other consumers, affected would be mostly households and small companies,” writes Spiegel Online.

Read the article in German here.


The cost of electricity for final consumers remained high in the first half of 2016 as most suppliers raised their tariffs despite low wholesale power prices, writes dpa-AFX. One reason was the expensive grid expansion needed for the renewables development in Germany, according to Jan Lengerke of the comparison website Verivox. This situation would probably remain the same in the second half of 2016 as the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) surcharge and grid fees were likely to rise, said Lengerke.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on power prices for consumers in Germany.

The Guardian

German engineering company Siemens has decided against making new wind power investments in the UK until the future of the relationship with the EU becomes clearer following the Brexit vote, writes The Guardian. Company representatives call on the government to start talks with the wind power sector as soon as possible and not wait until the official decision to leave the EU. “People will be holding off on major investment decisions and this is why we need to get together as soon as possible and see that a plan is put in place,” Jürgen Maier, Siemens’ CEO for the UK, told The Guardian.

Read the article in English here.

Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

The G20 group of countries, whose energy ministers are going to meet in Beijing this week, are responsible for around 75 per cent of global energy consumption and energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. State secretary Rainer Baake, who is going to represent Germany at the meeting, said: “195 countries agreed at the climate conference in Paris in 2015 to decarbonise the global economy in the course of the century. The G20 countries should now lead the way in setting new investment standards. Given the long investment cycles in the energy sector, we need to prevent foreseeable stranded investments. We have to substitute fossil energies like oil, coal and gas through investments into energy efficiency technologies and renewables.”

Read the ministry press release in German here.

Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS)

Important shifts in power relations within the energy sector occur in the course of Germany’s energy transition, according to a new research publication by Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS). “The reality is that power over certain resources – like land, capital ready for use, or the policy planning decision-making powers – is much disputed in the process,” said Ludger Gailing, project leader at IRS. This created power asymmetries, for example by way of the large financial power of national and international investors versus local actors, according to a press release.

Find a press release on the publication in German here.

German environment minister Barbara Hendricks launched a new project aimed at facilitating dialogue among the stakeholders in the conflict area between nature protection on the one hand and the further development of renewable energies in the course of the Energiewende on the other hand. “We want to defuse conflicts at the local level and enable the stakeholders to find constructive solutions faster and easier,” said Hendricks in Berlin. The Competence Centre aims at de-emotionalising the debate and preventing local conflicts. It will supply specialist information upon written request, train conflict mediators and initiate dialogue among stakeholders.  

Find a press release by the environment ministry in German here.

RWE/ innogy

Utility company RWE has unveiled the name of its new “colourful, cheerful and innovative” subsidiary: “Innogy”. The new company pools the German and international renewables, grid and infrastructure and retail business.

Wind turbines manufacturer Nordex has erected the world’s highest wind turbine in Hausbay, Rhineland-Palatinate. Its pole is 164 meters high and the blades are 65.5 metres long, Nordex says in a press release. With its complete height of 230 metres, the turbine would be able to use more profit-yielding winds, the company said.

Read the press release in German here.

bizz energy

Germany’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) filling station for trucks has been opened in the city of Ulm. Energy company Uniper and transporter manufacturer Iveco operate the test facility. Uniper announced that it envisaged building a network of LNG stations in Germany and neighbouring countries in the coming years, bizz energy reports. LNG fuelled transporters emit less CO2 than trucks using petrol or diesel.

Read the article 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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