Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung
Inner-city driving bans for diesel cars threaten the economy, consumer interests and even the environment, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) in a long, front-page article. Diesel cars emit up to 20 percent less CO₂ than petrol cars and thus make an “invaluable contribution in the fight against global climate change,” writes FAS. If driving bans were introduced, Germany would miss its emissions targets, diesel cars would quickly lose their value, and it would cut into the heart of the German auto industry, writes FAS. Solutions like London’s congestion charge or converting bus and taxi fleets would need more time than allowed by impending bans.
For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
OPEL/Vauxhall / Reuters
French car company PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel and its British Vauxhall brand from General Motors in a deal valuing the business at 2.2 billion euros, OPEL announced in a press release. “By acquiring Opel, the French group leapfrogs rival Renault to become Europe's second-ranked carmaker by sales,” writes Reuters in a separate article.
Germany is likely to miss several key energy transition targets - including goals on the affordability of electricity, greenhouse gas emissions and primary energy and power consumption - while costs keep rising, according to consultancy McKinsey’s bi-annual Energiewende-Index survey, seen by Clean Energy Wire. “Goals that do not receive direct financial support become ever more unrealistic,” says McKinsey. Amid the targets still on track are offshore wind expansion, the security of power supply, and employment in the renewables sector.
For background on Energiewende targets read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets.
Germany must make it easier for citizens and associations to legally challenge environmental permits, writes Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Failure to implement such a reform required by EU law could lead to a substantial fine. Conservative parties in the Bundestag (CDU/CSU) have blocked the reform to prevent “new investment obstacles,” writes Bauchmüller.
Read the article in German here.
German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF)
Energy efficiency businesses say the Greens are the most competent among German political parties when it comes to their field, according to a survey by the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF). Social Democrats and Christian Democrats (SPD / CDU) follow by a clear margin. “The campaign programmes of the parties could bring significant changes to these results – if the parties succeed in convincing companies with their proposals,” said DENEFF managing director Christian Noll in a press release with a view to the autumn federal elections.
For background, read CLEW's Dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency: Taming the appetite for energy and Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.
Uniper / Reuters
German utility Uniper has agreed to sell its share in a Russian gas field for 1.7 billion euros. The deal with Austrian energy company OMV is “a major step” towards Uniper’s goal to refocus its struggling business, according to a Reuters report. Uniper said its debt-reduction target is ahead of schedule thanks to the sale.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
The German invention of an underwater concrete ball to store electricity will not solve the country’s storage challenges, writes Susanne Preuß in an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “But it is an additional piece of the mosaic formed by the use of a multitude of renewable energies,” writes Preuß. The technology only makes sense when used at a depth of several hundred metres close to the coast, which is impossible in Germany, she writes in a separate article.
Also read the CLEW factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?