31 May 2018, 00:00
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn Benjamin Wehrmann

Coal region premier says 2030 exit impossible / Ignored diesel bans

dpa / Merkur

An end to coal-fired power generation in Germany by 2030 is impossible, according to Armin Laschet, the state premier of coal mining state North Rhine-Westphalia, and a member of Angela Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU). Wind and solar power will not be able to provide the electricity needed by energy-intensive industry by that date, Laschet told newswire dpa. “I believe it will take longer than 2030, but it might not take until 2045,” Laschet said, with reference to existing lignite mining permits valid until 2045.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

Drivers of diesel cars have apparently ignored the first diesel driving bans in Germany that took effect on 31 May on two busy roads in the city of Hamburg, website reports. “Commuter traffic flows as usual”, the article says, adding that police only issue warnings to diesel drivers and will not enforce the bans on their first day. The bans apply to older diesel cars that do not fulfil the Euro-Norm 6 emissions standard. While the bans apply to all cars on one of the two road stretches affected in Hamburg, the other one only bans lorries with a weight above 7.5 tonnes.

Read the article in German here.

See CLEW’s diesel bans Q&A for background.

Clean Energy Wire

The reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) was postponed for the third week in a row on Wednesday. The changes proposed to Germany’s renewables law, which enabled the rapid growth of solar, wind and biogas generated power, are subject to disagreements between the environment and the energy ministry. While the energy ministry wants to only include the most pressing fixes, i.e. changes to the auction design for wind installations, the environment ministry pushes for incorporating additional auctions (laid out in the coalition treaty) that are to increase the share of renewables to 65 percent by 2030. Matthias Zelinger from the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) said that the current problem was mixing up undisputed corrections to the EEG that were necessary as quickly as possible with future policies from the coalition treaty. “Further delays will be negative for the returns and jobs in the German wind industry,” Zelinger said in a press statement.

Read a CLEW dossier on the Renewable Energy Act here.

Read a CLEW dossier on onshore wind power here.


The German Postal Service’s e-car manufacturing branch Streetscooter could soon be listed on the stock market, news agency Reuters reports. “It’s theoretically possible. We’re looking at the next two to three years,” the Postal Service’s board member Jürgen Gerdes said at the opening of a new Streetscooter production plant. According to the article, the company - which currently has an annual production capacity of about 20,000 vehicles - says a partnership with a big carmaker would also be a possibility. Gerdes said the Postal Service does not intend to become a carmaker permanently.

Read the article in English here and a more detailed version in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


The new delay of Germany’s official coal exit commission launch shows that large parts of the new government do not care about climate protection, writes Malte Kreutzfeld in a commentary for Tageszeitung (taz). “The fresh delay does not bear witness to intensive debates about climate protection and structural changes within the government, but instead a sign that large parts of the coalition simply doesn’t care about these topics,” writes Kreutzfeld. He warns the delay must not lead to reshuffling the list of commission members, which has been leaked to media, because in its current composition, “there is more climate competence than in the government.”

Read the commentary in German here.

For background, read the article Wrangling over German coal exit talks reveals difficult task ahead.

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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