01 Feb 2016
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Crunch time for e-car incentives / Anxiety in lignite mining region

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“It won’t happen without buyer’s premiums”

Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet car industry representatives on Tuesday to talk about incentives for e-mobility, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. The government will not achieve its goal of bringing one million e-cars on the road by 2020 without a buyer’s premium, according to Peter Mosch, head of the joint works council at carmaker Audi. “The state should pay a majority of the premium and the carmakers should add a little incentive,” Mosch told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Mosch also said he favours a joint battery production of German carmakers. “If we are not able to get a domestic battery production on track, we will really regret it sooner or later.” He added the technical know-how might be in Asia today, but whoever produces the batteries will have more pull in the end. “A German cooperation could also give impetus to a European idea – eventually, all European carmakers could come together and work out how to jointly produce batteries.” European carmaker association Acea is well placed to be a “central platform for coordination,” according to Mosch.

Read the article in German here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Carmakers also have to pay”

The discussion about a buyers’ premium of 5000 euros for each electric car seems bizarre, given that German carmakers are in top shape and make billions of euros of profit, writes Thomas Fromm in a commentary in Süddeutsche Zeitung. But on the other hand, the industry is in the midst of a historical transformation - it has to make conventional engines more efficient, and invest billions in tomorrow’s e-cars that no-one is buying today. Given low oil prices and the lack of charging stations, more will be needed than 5000 euros per car, writes Fromm. He argues that if there is an agreement on a premium, the industry should shoulder part of the incentive.

Read the commentary in German here.  


dpa/Frankfurter Rundschau

“Socially responsible coal exit possible, but state must help”

Services union Verdi believes it is possible to exit coal over a period of several decades without enforced redundancies, but this will require considerable financial support, reports Frankfurter Rundschau. “We need a lot of money for pay-offs, early retirements and retraining,” Verdi energy expert Reinhard Klopfleisch told German press agency dpa. “This could amount to one billion euros or more, but it is possible.” He added the transition to renewables will create a five figure number of new jobs within 10 to 15 years.

Read the article in German here.  

Read the latest CLEW article on the debate about a coal exit here.


Neues Deutschland

“Only socially responsible”

Everybody knows Germany must exit coal sooner or later, but fossil fuel proponents continue to fight any concrete proposal with arguments about power prices and jobs, writes Simon Poelchau in socialist newspaper Neues Deutschland. The assertion by union Verdi that a socially responsible coal exit is possible might be understood as an attack against mining union rival IG BCE. “But perhaps IG BCE should be grateful for Verdi’s advocacy for a socially responsible exit,” writes Poelchau. “Because it is only a matter of time when the last coal plant will be switched off. This is why the sectors’ employees need a perspective. The Energiewende only works with a socially responsible design.”

Find the commentary in German here.


General Anzeiger

Lignite mining region: Between relocation and job loss

Many people in West Germany's brown coal region are anxious about their future, Ralf Arenz, Bernd Eyermann and Frank Rintelmann write in a feature for regional newspaper General Anzeiger. On the one hand, over 6,000 people have to be re-located because the lignite mine at Garzweiler is expanding and eats whole villages, on the other hand it is clear that some power plants will shut down which will cost jobs in the region, the authors write.


Prognos / Ifeu / IWU

Both higher efficiency and renewables needed to decarbonise housing stock

Research institutes Prognos, Ifeu and IWU have found that climate targets prescribing insulation investments will increase housing costs by 4 to 8 percent by 2050, depending on the scenario. In a study for the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the researchers also highlight that current policies are insufficient to achieve the official target of a climate neutral building stock by 2050. This can only be achieved if energy efficiency measures are combined with renewable energies, according to the researchers. The power supply and district heating networks would have to be decarbonised.

Read the study in German here.

“North Sea has power”

The first stage of offshore wind development near the North Sea island of Heligoland is complete, writes Sven-Michael Veit on When E.ON's Amrumbank West goes officially online on Thursday, the existing three offshore wind farms can produce nearly 900 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which is enough to supply one million family households. The second stage of offshore farms at Heligoland is already in planning: The turbines of “Hohe See” and “He dreiht” will add another 400 MW of capacity, Veit says.

Read the article in German here.

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