10 Aug 2017, 00:00
Julian Wettengel

Digitalisation 'key driver' of Energiewende / Low carbon leakage risk


Digitalisation is the “key driver” of a successful energy transition as it is needed to manage a decentral power supply, Heiko von Tschischwitz, founder of renewable power provider LichtBlick, told Handelsblatt. The times of “simple supply” were over and large utilities would have trouble coping with the decentral energy world. “They feel like the Oxford Dictionary when Wikipedia came out,” said von Tschischwitz.

Read the interview (behind paywall) in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossiers Utilities and the energy transition and The digitalisation of the Energiewende.

Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln)

A number of German energy-intensive and high-revenue companies are postponing investments due to energy policies and regulatory framework in the country, writes Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW Köln) in a policy paper. A total of 9.1 percent of all companies surveyed said they postponed investment, with the figure rising to 36.2 percent for companies with a turnover higher than 50 million euros per year. This showed that uncertainty about the future energy policy agenda influences companies’ decision to invest, but only very few (2.2 percent) were planning to intensify foreign investments  for these reasons, writes IW Köln. This meant that current policies to prevent “carbon leakage” were working, writes IW Köln. The institute is the think tank of Germany’s large business associations.

Find the press release in German here and the policy paper in German here.

Find background in the CLEW dossier Energiewende effects on power prices, costs and industry.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The debate about the future of the diesel engine in Germany leaves car leasing providers still largely unfazed, writes Martin Gropp in an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A survey by the newspaper had shown that companies were closely observing the developments, but could not see large decreases of the residual value of their diesel cars, yet. The majority of cars in most fleets were modern Euro 6 diesel cars, writes Gropp.

Read the article in German here.

Find background material on the carmakers’ fight for the top-spot in e-mobility in the dossier, and more on the diesel summit’s outcome in the CLEW article German carmakers pledge diesel software updates and buyer’s bonus. Also read the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany.


Germany’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would not agree to a minimum CO₂ price as part of a coalition deal following September’s national election, according to the energy policy spokesman of the CDU parliamentary group Joachim Pfeiffer, Nathan Witkop reports for Montel. Emissions trade was an instrument to control the amount of emissions, not the prices, Pfeiffer told Montel.

Read a short version of the article in German here.

For background on reform proposals in Germany, including CO₂-related proposals, read the CLEW factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

There is still a long way to go until the financing mechanisms of the German energy transition are transferred into a sustainable market design, writes Felix Matthes, research coordinator for energy and climate policy at Öko Institut, in a guest commentary in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. But one had to keep in mind the global responsibility, the creation of a robust infrastructure basis and the necessity of a stronger dynamic in future renewables expansion. “Then, with the experience of the past years, the Energiewende is a successful model, not an aberration,” writes Matthes.

For background, read CLEW's Germany's Energiewende: The Easy Guide.

Fortune Magazine

Germans are almost all in favour of expanding the use of renewable energy, despite the fact that government subsidies for renewables mean that Germans pay high electricity prices in relation to other European countries, writes David Meyer in an article for Fortune Magazine.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets What German households pay for power and Polls reveal citizens' support for Energiewende.

Zeit Online

The coming weeks will see intensified opposition and protest against lignite mining in the western German Rhenish mining district, writes Christoph Parth in a long feature for Zeit Online. A number of protest events are scheduled, and the police also prepared for more violent demonstrations, writes Parth.

Read the feature in German here.

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

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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