Federal Ministry for the Environment
The German government’s Climate Action Programme 2020, started in 2014 to help the country reach its goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, could in fact be called a stimulus package, according to federal environment minister Barbara Hendricks. Her ministry (BMUB) published a PwC study on the economic and ecologic effects of the programme, saying that the economic benefits clearly outweighed the costs of the proposed measures. “The investments triggered lead to saving energy costs, more domestic added value, and more jobs,” said Hendricks in a press release. In total, the programme will create 430,000 additional jobs and a GDP increase of 1 percent, by 2020, writes BMUB.
Read about the Details of the Climate Action Programme in this CLEW factsheet, and find more background in the CLEW article Ministry projections highlight risk of Germany missing emissions goal.
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s industry should work with the government to reach the goals in the country’s newly adopted Climate Action Plan 2050 rather than just criticise the plan or individual measures, energy state secretary Rainer Baake told the “Agenda 2017” conference by daily newspaper “Der Tagesspiegel” in Berlin. The plan itself was a strategy to modernise Germany’s economy as it moved to a zero-carbon future. Business representatives called some of the goals “unrealistic” and warned that an overly ambitious climate drive could endanger the competitiveness of the country’s flagship industries.
Please note: The Clean Energy Wire will publish an article on this topic later today.
Auto industry unions fear the pending transport revolution puts hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk, reports Alfons Frese in Tagesspiegel. Metalworkers union IG Metall and the heads of work councils at VW, Daimler, Opel, Bosch and Continental propose to cut transport emissions in half by 2030. This is to be achieved by optimising combustion engines, including diesel models, as well as binding quotas for e-car sales, to increase e-cars’ share to 20 to 30 percent by 2030, according to the report.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
Many Central and Eastern European countries have reacted extremely sceptical to Germany’s energy transition, but they have been proven wrong, writes Jan Ondrich in a blog post on energytransition.de. Germany’s grid remains one of the most stable in Europe, industry is still a bedrock of German economic stability, wholesale power prices have been decreasing over the last five years, and German power exports rose. “None of the nightmare scenarios feared by CEE politicians played out,” writes Ondrich. He argues low wholesale prices caused by the Energiewende will prevent the realisation of many nuclear and coal power plant projects in CEE countries, thus contributing “to a cleaner and safer fuel mix in neighbouring countries.”
Read the article in English here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheets Germany's electricity grid stable amid energy transition, and Setting the power price: the merit order effect and the dossier Energiewende effects on power prices, costs and industry.
The German Climate Action Plan 2050 shines a light on the German position during the EU Emisions Trading System (ETS) revision for the market’s rulebook after 2020, according to a blog post by Ecofys consultants Marcus Ferdinand and Moritz Schäfer. “It appears that the adoption of the Climate Action Plan was a pre-requisite to advance Germany's position on the EU ETS review file where Germany has been rather silent in public so far,” write the authors, adding that Germany will have to engage actively in the debate in order to realise at least some of the positions mentioned in the plan.
Read the blog post in English here.
Germany’s grid fees on average will increase in 2017, but regional disparities and those based on the consumption volume will grow, according to a short analysis by energy think tank Agora Energiewende.* Consumers in rural areas with strong renewables development pay fees that are particularly high. “As a consequence, power consumers in expensive regions pay more than double for the grid fees than power consumers in the cheap regions,” writes Agora Energiewende in a press release. The only fair solution was the nationwide standardisation of the fees, writes Agora Energiewende.
*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Uniper is the “surprise winner of the German energy market” with a nearly 20 percent rise in its share price since the company’s stock market debut, writes Helmut Bünder in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “With this, the utility – once disparaged as a bad bank for unprofitable coal and natural gas power plants – outshines its green parent company [E.ON] and competitor RWE,” writes Bünder.
Leaked documents on energy regulation reform show that the European Commission plans to take away important competences regarding power grid management from member states, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. “Regional Operation Centres (ROC) would then decide how much grid reserve should be kept ready, or which measures are taken in the event of supply bottlenecks,” writes Wetzel. This could also endanger the German Energiewende instrument of granting grid priority to renewable power, according to Wetzel. A spokesperson of the federal economy ministry told Die Welt: “The economy ministry believes the transfer of decision-making powers to so-called Regional Operation Centres is not necessary.”
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.
Three quarters of German companies have invested in climate protection in the past three years, according to a survey by utility E.ON. “The most important steps taken by every other company involved the renovation of heating systems and installation of energy-efficient lighting,” states an E.ON press release. “A good third of the companies had streamlined their production processes. The same number had insulated their buildings.”
Find the press release in English here.
Volkswagen plans to drop diesel vehicles in the United States and refocus on sport utility and electric vehicles, reports Andreas Cremer for Reuters. The move, announced by VW brand chief Herbert Diess, breaks with earlier suggestions it could return to the once-popular technology after the emissions scandal fades from memory, writes Cremer.
Read the article in English here.