15 Feb 2016, 00:00
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'Doping tests' for cars / An expensive nuclear clean-up


“Dobrindt plans doping tests for cars”

In response to the VW emissions scandal, Germany’s transport minister Alexander Dobrindt plans to introduce spot checks for car emissions. “There will be spot checks for cars just like doping tests. Unannounced, every year. Cars will be randomly chosen, for example via car hiring companies, and tested for emissions,” Dobrindt told mass daily Bild. The ministry will build its own facilities for these tests.  

Read the interview in German here.

Read the CLEW dossier on the Energiewende in transportation here.


Die Welt

“Hendricks plans levy on petrol guzzlers”

Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks is planning an extra levy on cars determined by their efficiency, according to a report in Die Welt. Buyers of small cars emitting 95 grams of CO2 would have to pay a one-off “environmental charge” of 50 euros, compared to 1,000 euros for cars emitting more than 200 grams, such as a Porsche Cayenne, Hendricks told weekly magazine der Spiegel. Hendricks said the money should be used to finance subsidies for electric cars. As an alternative to the scheme, she supports a tax increase on diesel.

Read the report in German here.



“A small German city challenges nation’s auto giants on pollution”

A local court in the city of Wiesbaden ordered the regional government to clean up diesel exhaust fumes or face a fine, report Brian Parkin and Nicholas Brautlecht for Bloomberg. The ruling was the first to enforce emission limits and caused alarm in the car industry, according to the report.

Read the report in English here.


Greentech Media

“German automakers move ahead with plans for battery storage business units”

There is plenty of activity among German car makers moving into the battery storage business, reports Jason Deign for Greentech Media. BMW has entered an energy-related partnership with heating systems manufacturer Viessmann and has been experimenting with energy storage in the US, according to the report. Daimler is pressing ahead with residential energy storage plans, writes Deign.

Read the report in English here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Citizens vs financial investors”

Germany’s ministry for economics and energy (BMWi) wants to facilitate the participation of citizens’ energy cooperatives in tenders for wind energy, reports Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to the ministry’s proposal, cooperatives will be exempt from providing certain costly documents before making a bid in the upcoming reform of the Renewable Energy Act. “From our perspective, this is a reasonable compromise,” energy state secretary Rainer Baake told Bauchmüller.  

Find the report in German here.

Find a CLEW factsheet on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act here.

Read the CLEW dossier on the Citizens’ Energiewende here.

“Germany & the coal exit”

The debate in Germany over a coal exit is intense, reports Rob Compton for “The debate how is not about whether, but how to achieve it and how fast,” writes Compton. He says it remains to be seen how the German government will proceed – “be it on the European level, with toughened-up emissions trading, through national efforts such as an emergency reserve, or otherwise. It will also be interesting to see what happens with the proposed Vattenfall sale.”

Read the article in English here.

Read the most recent CLEW article on the coal exit here.

Find a CLEW factsheet on the Vattenfall sale here.


Spiegel Online

“Expensive nuclear clean-up”

The expert commission set up to find solutions for financing the treatment and storage of Germany’s nuclear waste is likely to suggest a state-administered fund into which the nuclear power station operators will transfer assets to pay for storing the nuclear remains. But the utilities’ would not be allowed to include shares in gas and coal fired power stations as assets in the fund, Stefan Schultz reports on Spiegel Online. Fossil power stations are becoming less profitable as power supply in Germany is rising.

Read the article in German here.

See CLEW factsheets on nuclear clean-up costs and securing utility payments for it here and here.


RP Online

There will be no nuclear foundation

Jürgen Trittin, Green MP and head of the expert commission on financing the nuclear clean-up, told RP Online that allowing the big four utilities to pay a set amount of money into a so-called nuclear foundation would let them off the hook for any further costs. In an interview, Trittin said this would not be in line with the "polluter pays" principle. Trittin favours a financing model in which the utilities remain liable for future storage costs - but measures would have to be taken to ensure they pay them, he said. The likes of RWE and E.ON would probably prefer to pay cash into a nuclear fund than transfer profitable parts of their businesses like wind farms and power grids, Trittin said.

Read the interview in German here.

Read a summary by Reuters in English here.


Die Welt

“Czechs grab for German brown coal”

Three Czech energy and mining companies are the only parties that have officially registerd their  interest in Vattenfall’s lignite assets in Germany - and state owned CEZ is particularly keen, writes Daniel Wetzel in a feature for Die Welt. CEZ said it would like to work the eastern German lignite operations until 2035 or 2040, which would be in line with the envisaged exit schedule for German coal power. The German government would probably prefer to deal with a state-owned company like CEZ than with a private investor, Wetzel writes. Buying Vattenfall’s lignite assets would be a bet with limited risk, a CEZ manager reckons – provided the price is right and the wholesale power price picks up again in the future. 

Read the feature in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about Vattenfall’s lignite assets in Germany here.

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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