Coalition transport agreement / Citizens own one third of renewables

Clean Energy Wire / Reuters

Coalition negotiators consider diesel car hardware retrofitting in treaty draft

Negotiators in the ongoing talks to renew Germany’s grand coalition of conservatives (CDU, CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) want to avoid inner city driving bans and consider hardware retrofitting for older diesel cars to bring down nitrogen oxide emissions in German cities, reports news agency Reuters. In sections of a coalition treaty draft, seen by the Clean Energy Wire, the would-be coalition partners write that a decision on hardware retrofitting will be taken in 2018. The text says that German mobility policy is committed to help reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement; it will take social considerations into account, as well as safeguard industry’s competitiveness. This will require support for electric mobility, public and rail transport, and more efficient and cleaner combustion engines, including retrofitting, and the continuation of funds from the diesel summit. The coalition partners say they will appoint a commission including actors from politics, business, environmental associations, unions, and affected states and regions that will work out a strategy on the “future of affordable and sustainable transport” including a reliable timeframe by 2019.

Read articles by Reuters on the topic in English here and in German here.

For background on the latest treaty drafts, read CLEW’s coalition watch.

The Clean Energy Wire will publish more information on the transport draft later today.

 

Federal German government

There will be no “quick solution” to hardware retrofitting – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that a decision on hardware retrofitting is not in sight. “We will continue to examine the hardware retrofitting proposal, but according to what I saw, there will certainly not be a quick solution for millions of vehicles,” said Merkel at a press conference held after a meeting with federal state premiers. About half of the planned software upgrades for diesel cars had already been implemented, the rest would be done by the end of 2018. To help bring down nitrogen oxide emissions in affected cities below EU clean air limits, her government would talk to the municipalities in the coming days to look for short-term solutions. After the meeting, federal state premiers said that avoiding inner city diesel driving bans was a “major goal” shared by all.

Find the government press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW news digest entry European Commission grants “very last deadline” on clean air, and find background on the diesel technology’s impact on clean air and climate in the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy.

 

trend research / Renewable Energies Agency

Citizens own one third of German renewables capacity

In 2016, private citizens owned 31.5 percent of installed renewable power capacity in Germany, making them the most important investors in the sector ahead of energy companies (15.7 percent), developers (14.4 percent), farmers (10.5 percent), and funds/banks (13.4 percent), writes the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE), citing a study conducted by trend research. ‘Private citizens’ refers to individuals who for instance install their own solar PV rooftop panels, as well as energy cooperatives. While the diversity of ownership must be welcomed, the acceptance of and commitment to renewables expansion depend on the possibilities for citizens to take part and invest, said AEE Managing Director Philipp Vohrer. At 39 percent, private citizen ownership is highest in wind power plants. trend research relied on a mixture of database analysis, literature, magazine and internet research, and market surveys.

Find a short presentation and the study for sale in German here, and the AEE press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The People's Energiewende.

 

German Taxpayers Federation (BdSt)

German government spent 5.4 billion euros from federal budget on Energiewende in 2017

In 2017, at least 5.4 billion euros were spent by the German government from the federal budget on the country’s energy transition, up about 20 percent from the previous year, writes the German Taxpayers Federation in a study. Four billion euros were administered by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and the remaining amount by the ministries for research, environment, transport and agriculture. The budget does not include the four billion euros the German government allocates to international climate protection every year, or the energy levies and fees paid for by power consumers through their bills. The federation writes that budgetary allocation to the energy transition project has often been opaque, and calls on the government to include more detailed information on this in the Energiewende monitoring report. The federation also says that the national energy and climate policy measures have often conflicted with the relevant international regimes, such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), thereby reducing the impact of taxpayer money.

Find the study in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Energiewende effects on power prices, costs and industry.

 

Council of Federal State Governments

German states aim to change rules for onshore wind power auctions

The council of federal state governments in Germany (Bundesrat) wants to counter “undesirable developments” in the country’s auction system for onshore wind power by changing the rules for citizens’ energy projects, the Bundesrat says in a press release. The council has introduced a bill aimed at cancelling all special provisions for citizens’ projects for onshore wind auctions in 2018 and 2019. Citizens’ projects have so far been exempt from certain requirements when submitting bids to Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in order to make sure that they are not disadvantaged by more financially capable institutional bidders. For instance, they did not have to obtain a construction license before submitting their bid - a long and costly procedure carried out to ensure that new installations comply with all environmental and building regulations. “In practice, this meant that a few project developers entered the stage, who acted as service providers for newly founded citizen cooperatives,” causing other bidders “economic turmoil,” the Bundesrat says.

Find the press release and the draft bill in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet High hopes and concerns over onshore wind power auctions and the CLEW article Booming German wind power sector fears 2019 cliff for background.

 

Tagesspiegel

Coalition negotiators “irresponsible” in energy and climate policy – opinion

The latest leaked drafts of the coalition treaty show that the possible future government partners CDU/CSU and SPD know where the difficulties lie in Germany’s energy system, but they shy away from making important decisions, writes Jakob Schlandt in an opinion piece in the Tagesspiegel. Delegating “unpleasant questions,” such as the coal exit, to a special commission, is irresponsible, writes Schlandt. “After all, this is about tough – in part social - distribution issues. Who carries the burden, who pays, who profits? To consider this is the fundamental task of the government,” he writes.

Read the opinion piece in German here.

For background on the latest treaty drafts, read CLEW’s coalition watch.

 

NGOs / Tagesspiegel

47 NGOs call on coalition negotiators to commit to 2020 climate goal

In a letter addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leading negotiators in the ongoing government coalition talks between the CDU/CSU and the SPD, several German NGOs, including BUND, WWF, and NABU, call for a clear commitment to the 2020 climate target in the future coalition treaty, reports Jens Tartler in the Tagesspiegel. Inaction generates “big economic costs and hinders the climate-friendly modernisation” of the German economy, the NGOs write.

Read the article in German here.

For background on the latest treaty drafts, read CLEW’s coalition watch.

 

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