30 Nov 2016, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Dispute over EU energy package? / Carmakers plan charging network

Frankfurter Rundschau

The EU Commission’s new energy package is likely to meet resistance from some member states and energy industry players, writes Thorsten Knuf in Frankfurter Rundschau. EU energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete called the package a “unique opportunity to modernise the economy” but it could be opposed, “even by those making money with green energy,” Knuf says. The commission’s plans to install “reserve capacities” - possibly in the form of subsidies for coal plants - and increase renewables' exposure to market mechanisms by abolishing their grid priority across Europe, could spark dispute. The German government, a keen advocate of grid priority for green power, is one of those likely to object, he adds.

For background information read the CLEW dossier Germany's energy transition in the European context.

BMW Group / Daimler AG / Ford Motor Company / Volkswagen Group

BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have formed a joint venture to deploy a charging network for e-vehicles covering European travel routes. “The goal is to enable long-distance travel through open-network charging stations along highways and major thoroughfares,” the companies said in a press release. They are to start in 2017 with an initial target of 400 ultra-fast charging points, and aim to have thousands operating by 2020. The network will be based on combined charging system (CCS) technology. No figures on the total investment were released.

Read the carmakers’ press release in English here and a Reuters article in English here.

For background on the challenges for Germany’s mighty car industry, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Leading carmakers' plans to set up a European e-vehicle fast-charging network show the amount of pressure on the car industry, Peter Fahrenholz says in an opinion piece for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “It’s not only spectacular on a technological level. Such far-reaching cooperation among rival companies has never existed before. […] It shows one is no longer willing to wait for the government […] to create powerful infrastructure,” Fahrenholz writes.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Carmakers' plans to set up a brand-independent e-vehicle charging network along Europe’s long-distance routes is not only smart but necessary, writes Martin Gropp in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Those who move in the premium segment – like Daimler, BMW or Porsche – must expect that their customers want to travel long distance, also electrically,” writes Gropp.

Read the commentary in German here.

German Institute for Urbanistics

The German Institute for Urbanistics (Difu) has launched an online tool to help German municipalities calculate the economic impacts of refurbishing buildings to modern energy efficiency standards. The “value creation calculator” processes data on the building stock and rennovation measures, and provides links to local companies that can carry out the work, Difu says in a press release. Municipalities can use the calculator to project how supporting specific projects will influence tax revenues, business profits and employment.

Read the press release in here and find the value creation calculator in here (both in German).

For background on the role of German municipalities in the Energiewende, see the CLEW factsheet Small, but powerful – Germany’s municipal utilities.

Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung

The German Trade Union for mining, chemicals and energy industries (IG BCE) has called for a comprehensive investment programme in order to meet the country’s climate targets for 2020, Jens Heitmann writes in Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ). The German government should fund measures that go beyond expanding wind and solar power capacity and launch “an immediate action programme for jobs, investment and sustainable growth,” IG BCE’s chairman Michael Vassiliadis said. In particular, the IG BCE wants to see rapid grid expansion, investment in battery production and charging stations for e-cars, and faster modernisation of buildings financed with subsidies for homeowners, Heitmann writes.

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).

German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Germany and other EU member states should strengthen cooperation on climate protection, in light of the upcoming US administration's likely reversal of climate legislation, writes Susanne Dröge in an commentary for the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). If Donald Trump ends climate policy cooperation with China and withdraws from international climate agreements, it will undermine international trust in America as a partner against global warming, Dröge says. Germany and its European partners should therefore “prevent a chain reaction” by pushing for implementation of the Paris Agreement and intensifying cooperation with US federal states and non-state actors, she adds.

Read the comment in English here.

For more information on the Energiewende in the context of global warming, see the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change.

A power grid stress test by network operator TenneT shows that the need for grid expansion could be significantly lower after 2030. According to the study, increased use of combined PV and storage in Germany’s south, together with less wind power generation in the north, could reduce the amount of electricity transported across the country. “We are convinced there will be development options leading to reduced grid expansion after 2030,” said TenneT board member Lex Hartman. 

Read the press release in German here and more information on the study in German here.

For background on Germany’s power supply system, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy / IEA

Germany’s role in international climate protection demonstrates that the energy transition can be an economic success story, state secretary in the economy ministry (BMWi) Rainer Baake said at the presentation of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2016 in Berlin. Germany’s share in emissions was too low to make a real difference to climate change, Baake said, but the country must set an example as an economic role model. IEA executive director Fatih Birol said, “Germany’s G20 leadership, especially in the area of climate change, is of critical and historical importance.” Germany assumes the G20 presidency on 1 December.

Read the BMWi press release in German here and more information on the IEA outlook in English here.

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