Deutsche Welle / DUH
The diesel summit agreement from 2 August to upgrade software in five million vehicles, set up a mobility fund, and offer buyer’s bonuses can be described as “Mickey Mouse policies” that may cut harmful emissions by five percent at best, Jens Thurau quoted Environmental Action Germany (DUH) head Jürgen Resch as saying, in an article for Deutsche Welle. Many diesel car owners have realised “that the placebo software updates won’t prevent their cars from being affected by driving bans”, said Resch in a press release. DUH has called on all political parties to make clear before the September general elections if they were willing to push for the measures necessary to enable cities to comply with air quality limits, including “dirty diesel vehicle” driving bans.
For background, read the CLEW articles German carmakers pledge diesel software updates and buyer’s bonus and Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy, and the factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany.
Tagesspiegel / BDEW
Stefan Kapferer, managing director of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), has called on the German government to show “a clear commitment to gas” in the country’s energy supply system, writes Dagmar Dehmer in Tagesspiegel. The energy industry itself must better highlight the “green potential” of gas and the associated technological possibilities, said Kapferer in a press release. BDEW has published the results of a survey of politicians, civil society, scientists, and journalists on the role of natural gas in Germany. A large majority of respondents said it would play a very important role in industry and the heating sector in the future, but only very few said it would do so in mobility.
Despite public denials, the European Commission is considering implementing an e-car quota to be achieved by automakers by 2030, writes Arthur Nelson for Climate Home. “It is looking increasingly likely that [the Commission] will come forward with a proposal of that sort for 2025 and 2030, probably including plug-in hybrids”, a source told Climate Home. The issue is fraught with problems, especially in Germany, where carmakers remain a “powerful political force”, writes Nelson.
Read the article in English here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany and the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
Due to the low number of applications for e-car buyer’s premium, the German federal government should rededicate unused funds to expanding the country’s charging infrastructure, Andreas Obersteller, head of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), told Birgit Marschall for Rheinische Post. Up to 200 million of the 600 million euros could, for example, be offered to those applying for the buyer’s premium to help them set up a charging point at their house or company, said Obersteller.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW article Federal government decides on 4,000 euro buyer's premium for e-cars and the dossiers The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector and The Energiewende and German carmakers.
dpa / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
In spring this year, Switzerland decided to pursue an energy transition strategy, but the country will take its time phasing out nuclear power, writes the news agency dpa in an article carried by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Switzerland is already able to cover 60 percent of its power demand with hydro energy, but an alternative is needed for nuclear power, which represents 30 percent, writes dpa. The ongoing melting of glaciers is projected to limit the availability of hydro energy in the future, the article notes.
In May 2017, voters in Switzerland opted for a new energy law that aims to promote renewable energy, bans the construction of new nuclear plants, and fosters greater energy efficiency.
Read the article in German here.
Germany’s Energiewende will not succeed “fast and easy”, and the country’s energy supply will continue to depend on lignite for some time, said Brandenburg’s state economy minister Albrecht Gerber in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. “I do know that we need to exit lignite. But we’re not at that point in Germany yet”, said Gerber. For now, Germany’s energy policy can be likened to “a kind of planned economy micro-control”, which had “already failed in the GDR”, according to Gerber. Back in July, Gerber announced that Brandenburg would lower its 2030 climate targets. This was because the state had more transport and economic growth than expected and was not able to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) as planned, Gerber said in the interview.
Find the interview in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?
German Wind Energy Association (BWE)
With projects officially defined as citizens’ energy again dominating the second onshore wind auction, the risk of not reaching the expansion targets after 2018 increases, writes the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) in a press release. “We see the danger that the development of auction results leads to a slump in wind energy expansion in 2019 and 2020”, writes BWE. It was unclear how the low prices influenced the actual realisation of projects successful in the auctions, which meant a lot of pressure and uncertainty for manufacturers and suppliers of turbines, writes BWE.
For background, read the CLEW article Citizens’ energy projects dominate first onshore wind power auction and the CLEW dossier Onshore Wind Power in Germany.
pv magazine / NATURSTROM
Green power provider NATURSTROM offers combinations of solar PV arrays and power storages for lease, reports Sandra Enkhardt in pv magazine. “Consumers can now use home-made power without having to stem the initial costs or worrying about maintenance”, the company writes in a press release. NATURSTROM sets up the array, takes care of service and insurance, and shoulders the investment costs, and then leases the array to customers for 18 years.