State government of Baden-Württemberg
The state government of Baden-Württemberg is to introduce driving bans for the most polluting diesel vehicles in the state capital Stuttgart from 1 January 2019. Baden-Württemberg is the home state of German carmakers Daimler and Porsche. Diesel vehicles meeting the Euro-4 or older emissions standards will be barred from entering the city, while the coalition of Greens and Christian Democrats (CDU) seeks to avoid bans for vehicles meeting the Euro-5 norm by introducing a set of additional measures. These include lowering public transport ticket prices and offering financial support for electric buses and trucks. Delivery vehicles, rides by workmen, public transport, taxis and emergency vehicles will be exempt from the ban.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q&A.
The lignite reserves already permitted for mining in Germany are enough to almost completely exhaust the remaining CO2-budget of the country’s energy sector, environmental organisation WWF Germany says in a short report for the German coal exit commission’s second meeting on 13 July. Burning all of the approved German lignite would release 3.84 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, while the country’s total budget for coal, gas and oil under the terms of the Paris Agreement lies somewhere between 2 and 4 billion tonnes, WWF says. “Science gives us clear guidelines on how much CO2 needs to be saved to still have a chance to limit global warming to significantly less than two degrees Celsius,” WWF Germany’s Michael Schäfer said. At the same time, “Germany is the lignite world champion”, Schäfer said, adding that the country leads the list with an annual production of over 170 million tonnes, over 30 million tonnes more than China, which ranks second.
Read the press release in German here.
Germany should optimise the use of existing grid connections in the North Sea to connect as much offshore wind power capacity to the grid as possible, operator Tennet says in a press release. “We can see a clear potential to optimise the use of existing transmission capacities,” Tennet CEO Lex Hartmann says. About 660 megawatt (MW) of new grid connection capacity will soon lay idle in the North Sea and additional auctions for offshore wind farms could put these capacities to use and contribute to the German government’s goal of expanding the share of renewables in power consumption to 65 percent by 2030, Hartmann says. The company also makes the case for connecting German wind farms in its western territorial waters to the neighbouring Dutch power grid to save money. Tennet adds that offshore wind turbines in the German North Sea produced 8.1 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity in the first half of 2018, 5.1 percent more than in the same period last year and 15 percent of all wind power generated in the country. Together with installations in the Baltic Sea, offshore wind turbines produced over 9 TWh of power.
Read the press release in German here.
See the CLEW dossier Offshore wind power in Germany for background.
German energy think tank Agora Energiewende*, together with the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut), has published a new analysis of the recent reforms to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). After remaining in the single digits for years, the cost of each emissions certificate has risen to and stabilised at roughly 15 euros in the wake of the recent changes to the system, Agora Energiewende writes in a press release. Next decade, excess certificates will begin to be removed from the market so as to give regulated firms greater incentive to reduce their emissions. “The recent reform to the emissions trading system has taken an important first step to once again making carbon pricing a relevant part of the climate policy toolkit,” says Felix Matthes, research coordinator for energy and climate policy at Öko-Institut.
For background, read the factsheet Understanding the European Union’s Emissions Trading System.
*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.
In the lead-up to the next climate change conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, in December, the EU is focussing on its global leadership role in the areas of energy and climate policy, writes Susanne Ehlerding in Tagesspiegel Background. For that purpose, the union has launched a consultation process to determine its long-term strategy for its transition to a low-carbon economy. “Europe’s voice is heard – especially when it is united,” COP24 President Michal Kurtyka said. With the goal of taking advantage of its influence and compelling countries outside the bloc to take more ambitious action, the European Commission has decided to expedite the publication of its strategy. It will be released by spring 2019.
You can purchase the Tagesspiegel Background article in German here.
For background, read the factsheet Energiewende – Germany is not alone.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
It is true that Russia is Germany’s biggest energy supplier but German consumers are not “captives”, writes Andreas Mihm in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “To the dismay of climate politicians, an abundancy of oil, gas and coal is available,” writes Mihm. The increase of liquid natural gas (LNG) shipments made pipeline gas contracts “more flexible” and caused prices to drop. “Thus the theoretical blackmailing potential of a supply disruption also decreased,” writes Mihm.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
For background, read the news digest entry Trump lashes out at Nord Stream 2, says Germany is “totally controlled” by Russia and the CLEW factsheet Germany’s dependence on fossil imported fossil fuels.
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Investments in the research and development of modern technologies are key to successfully achieving Germany’s transition to a low-carbon energy supply, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy says in a press release. For that reason, the federal government invested more than 1 billion euros in these areas last year, according to a report accompanying the press release. Roughly 80 percent was invested in the domains of renewable energies and energy efficiency.
For a total cost of 30 million euros, the Berlin public transit operator BVG has ordered 15 electric busses from Mercedes and 15 e-busses from the Polish company Solaris, reports the Tagesspiegel. With a capacity of 70 passengers and a range of 150-250 kilometres, the Mercedes busses should be on the streets in Berlin next year. Daimler, Mercedes’ parent company, plans to invest approximately 200 million euros in electric busses in the coming years.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and the article Cities and municipalities spearhead local transport revolution.