E-car coalition collision / Divestment domino effect

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“E-car collision in the coalition”

The Social Democrats’ parliamentary group wants to push e-mobility with incentives worth billions, reports Andreas Mihm in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The party proposals include a buyer’s premium of 5000 euros for private households, tax relief for businesses, quotas for public car fleets, as well as a commitment by German car manufacturers to buy batteries “Made in Germany”. The SPD estimates total costs will add up to between 2.0 and 2.5 billion euros. “With these proposals, the Social Democrats want to put pressure on their coalition partners CDU and CSU, who show little willingness to subsidise electric cars, which are expensive compared to petrol or diesel-powered models,” writes Mihm. According to the SPD, Chancellor Angela Merkel will discuss the issue next week with the car industry. SPD transport expert Sören Bartol said his party wants a coalition decision in February.

Read the article in German here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“The SPD’s heart for the automobile”

In a separate commentary, Mihm writes the SPD proposals to push e-mobility in Germany are a good example of bad industrial policy. Energy policy shows just how state intervention distorts the market, how expensive it is and how difficult it is to roll back, according to Mihm. “If China builds better and cheaper batteries, will the car companies have to buy worse and more expensive German products? That would be grotesque,” writes Mihm. “Especially the strong German car industry, if it believes in technology, should be able to help itself. For example by building e-cars people like.”

 

Die Zeit

“Germany is rolling without electricity”

Germany’s automobile industry would like to be a leader in electric mobility, but if domestic consumers shun the technology this could be hard, says Matthias Breitinger in Die Zeit. The best-selling e-car comes from Japan (Nissan Leaf) and the most important market for electric or hybrid vehicles is China. The largest European market for e-cars is Britain, followed by France and Norway – all three countries pay buyers of electric cars a premium, the author says. Stefan Bratzel, professor of automotive management in Bergisch Gladbach, said the state should cooperate with car manufacturers to establish a compact charging network across Germany. Without such incentives, Germany would risk being left behind in the e-car business.

Read the article in German here.

 

German Wind Energy Association (BWE) / German Engineering Federation (VDMA)

“Successful wind energy expansion, but the EEG amendment gives rise to growing uncertainty in the industry”

2015 was a good year for onshore wind energy in Germany, according to the German Wind Energy Association (BWE) and the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). A net total of 3,536 MW of onshore capacity was added, which made it the second best year ever, after special effects had pushed constructions to a record 4,386 MW in 2014. The associations estimate capacity additions will fall this year to around 3000 MW.
The industry associations warned their sector was “alarmed” about the insecurity created by reform plans for the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which they said would create highly fluctuating auction volumes in the years ahead. BWE president Hermann Albers warned the plans could almost halve the German market for wind energy. “We need to accelerate development if we are to fulfil the Paris Agreement”, said Albers.

Find the press release in English here.

Find a CLEW factsheet about the EEG reform here.

 

Frankfurter Rundschau

“Wind power increasingly a bone of contention”

The debate about new wind power capacity is heating up, writes Joachim Wille in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Germany’s northern states are pressuring the federal government to remove sharp limits on wind development in the reform of the Renewable Energy Act. “At the same time, the adversaries of wind power are gathering to fight for restrictions with arguments about noise pollution and environmental damage,” writes Wille, citing examples from the states of Brandenburg and North-Rhine Westphalia.

 

WiWo Green Online

“Only climate friendly investments: Münster hopes to achieve a domino effect”

The city of Münster in North Rhine-Westphalia wants to use its money in purely climate friendly ways and pull out of fossil fuel or nuclear-related investments, WiWo Green Online writes. Otto Reiners, head of the Green Party parliamentary group in Münster says the city is hoping for a domino effect as other cities like Bonn and Cologne are preparing to follow suit. The performance of ecological and ethical investments is good, Reiners told WiWo Green in an interview, so there hasn’t been much criticism. The town will pull its 30 million euros from two pension funds out of the existing funds which are for example invested in energy provider RWE or chemicals company BASF and redeploy the capital.

Read the interview in German here.

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