Dispute over renewable development / More e-car charging stations

dpa / Frankfurter Rundschau

“Christian Democrats put the breaks on renewable development”

Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party wants to make changes to the upcoming reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), reports dpa. The party wants to limit the growth of both onshore and offshore wind power in order to “prevent higher costs” and ensure that renewables develop in line with new power grids. Volker Kauder, head of the CDU-CSU parliamentary group, suggested that biogas plants should receive support – something the current reform proposal doesn’t include. The Green Party called the suggestions a “general attack on the energy transition”.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about the proposed EEG reform here.

 

The Wall Street Journal

“Winded in Germany”

The German government is trying to “discourage investment in wind power, which happens to be the only renewable energy generation that makes even vague sense for Germany,” according to an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. The planned switch from feed-in tariffs to an auction system is to limit new wind power capacity in favour of solar, which is more expensive and less reliable, the article says. “It makes you wonder if there's any form of energy-price signal that governments won't ignore.”

Read the comment (behind a paywall) in English here.

Read CLEW's dossier on the Energiewende’s effect on German industry here, and a dossier on its impact on the labour market here.

Find the CLEW factsheet on consumer power prices here.

 

Zeit online

“Coal is broken”

A look at Peabody Energy's shares chart is enough to understand how broken the international coal industry is, writes Claus Hecking in an opinion piece for Zeit online. This “climate killing” commodity – which produces almost half of global CO2 emissions – is a relic of the industrial dawn, and investing in it now is extremely risky, the author says. Germany's coal industry is fighting for a state rescue of the ailing lignite sector. But why should the tax payer artificially prolong the life of an energy source that ruins the climate and will soon be unprofitable? It would make much more sense – both ecologically and economically – for Germany to give up coal within the next 20 to 25 years, the article argues.

Read the op-ed in German here.

Read a CLEW article about the coal exit debate here.

 

Handelsblatt

“Revolution in small steps”

Investments in industries with high CO2 emissions are becoming extremely high risk, writes Dirk Wohleb in the Handelsblatt. Consultancy firm Mercer predicts that by 2050 the oil sector's ratings will fall by two thirds, and the coal industry's by three quarters. The energy transition is no longer a German phenomenon, Wohleb says. Yet investors at financial firms like Deutsche Asset Management and Allianz Global Investors are not completely pulling out of fossil fuel energy. 

 

Institute for Applied Ecology / Fraunhofer ISE

“Start climate protection in the building sector now”

A new study by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) and Fraunhofer ISE outlines how energy consumption by German buildings can be reduced almost to the point of climate neutrality by 2050. Politicians must now provide incentives and adjust the legal framework to ensure that more buildings are insulated to a high standard, says Veit Bürger of the Öko-Institut.

Read the study in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier about efficiency and the energy transition here.

 

Bundestag

“Satisfaction with smart meters“

An expert committee was largely satisfied with a draft law on the digitalisation of the energy transition, according to a press release by the Bundestag. Boris Schucht, a representative for 50Hertz, welcomed that transmission system operators (TSOs) are to provide the hub for data aggregated by smart meters. At the same time, the press release says many experts criticised certain aspects of the draft (see below).

Read the Bundestag press release in German here.

 

German Association of Energy and Water Industries

“Distribution system operators should remain data hub”

A report commissioned by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) concludes that distribution system operators (DSOs) should manage electricity data aggregated by planned smart meters. Germany's 800 plus DSOs are already responsible for data aggregated by analog meters, and changing this would be “inefficient”, says BDEW’s managing director Martin Weynand. The current draft bill to digitalise the energy transition would put the data in the hands of Germany's four TSOs.

Read the press release in German here.

 

German Renewable Energy Federation

“A law without purpose or aim”

The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) rejects the mandatory installation of smart meters for small solar and wind power plants proposed in the current draft of a bill to digitalise the energy transition. The rules would apply to installations of more than 7 kW. The draft includes cost ceilings for plant operators, but BEE’s managing director Hermann Falk says they lack transparency. “The draft bill must be improved to avoid unnecessary costs,” said Falk.

Read the press release in German here.

 

European Commission / BDEW

State aid and electricity capacity mechanisms

The European Commission has published an interim report on the necessity and legality of capacity mechanisms in the power market, finding that many member states should be more thorough in assessing the need and cost-effectiveness of such mechanisms. “Unecessary and badly designed capacity mechanisms can distort competition,” the Commission says in press release. However, it adds that capacity mechanisms may be necessary, “to bridge the transitional period in which shortages may occur”. The interim report is now up for public consultation.
German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) commented that the Commission clearly no longer objected to capacity mechanisms in principal, and shared the BDEW’s view that capacity markets could be appropriate to ensure security of supply.

Read the European Commission press release in English here.

Read the BDEW comment in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about Germany’s new power market design here.

 

BMWi / BMUB / BMVI / BMFB

“More know-how and visibility for electric mobility”

Transport minister Alexander Dobrindt has proposed 15,000 additional e-charging stations across Germany, in response to the results of a government programme on electric mobility. “Electric mobility is working. Now, it’s all about creating an extensive charging infrastructure,” Dobrindt said in a press release. The federal ministries of economic affairs and energy (BMWi), environment (BMUB), education (BMFB) and transport (BMVI) are currently presenting results from the 180-million-euro funding programme “Schaufenster Elektromobilität”, which runs until the end of the year. Projects across Germany have provided “extensive insights to complete  know-how in the field of electric vehicles, energy supply and transport systems,” the ministries said.

Find the press release in German here.

Find a CLEW dossier on the Energiewende in Germany’s transport sector here

 

BMVI

“Dobrindt: Way paved for automated driving”

The German cabinet has appoved transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s draft bill on automated driving systems. “Automated and interconnected driving is the biggest mobility revolution since the invention of the car,” said Dobrindt. “With our draft we are paving the way for automated driving systems to take on more and more driving tasks autonomously.” The bill is to implement an amendment to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

Find the press release in German here.

 

WWF / LichtBlick

“Electric cars: Almost 70 percent of Germans doubt the success of a buyer’s premium”

A large majority of Germans doubt that introducing a buyer’s premium for electric cars would help the federal government reach its goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2020, according to a survey commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and green electricity supplier LichtBlick. About half of respondents agreed with the survey’s proposition that a premium should only apply to e-cars powered by renewables.

Find the press release in German here.

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