25 Aug 2017, 00:00
Sven Egenter Julian Wettengel

E-mobility helps climate - study / Germans want coal exit plan - poll

Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko Institut)

Electric vehicles already have a smaller carbon footprint than conventional ones, even though Germany still has a high volume of fossil-fuels in its power mix, writes Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko Institut) in a press release. Because the fuel source is decisive for emissions, the country’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which regulates renewables expansion, could be the “key instrument to reduce the carbon footprint of electric vehicles” in the coming years, writes Öko Institut in a policy paper. The federal government would have to adapt renewables targets in the future to meet demand for e-mobility, and taxes or levies on fossil fuels should increase to reflect their share in Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions, write the authors.

Find the press release in German here and the policy paper in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts

Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) / Kantar Emnid

72 percent of Germans say that the next government should decide on a timetable for the country’s coal exit, according to a representative survey by Kantar Emnid, commissioned by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND). 59 percent of respondents said that German coal-fired power plants should be decommissioned “soon”. BUND head Hubert Weiger said this showed that Germans “expect the federal government to act on a coal exit. A large number of coal-fired power plants must be shut down within the coming two to three years.”

Find the press release in German and the survey results in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal? for more information.

The Greens federal parliamentary group / Energy Research Architecture

The lack of flexibility in running brown coal and nuclear power stations are the cause of Germany’s high power export surplus, says consultancy Energy Research Architecture in a study commissioned by the Green group in the German Bundestag. The more flexible operation of hard coal power plants is also not enough to balance out supply and demand at times of high wind and solar power feed-in, write the authors.

Read the group’s press release in German here and the analysis in German here.

For background on power export balance and power generation, read the CLEW factsheets Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts and When will Germany finally ditch coal?

Institute for Economic Research (ifo)

Business prospects for the German car industry remain strong despite the ongoing debate about the future of the diesel engine, the Institute for Economic Research (ifo) said in its release on the ifo business climate index, the closely watched indicator for the health of the German economy. “In the automotive sector, cartel allegations and the diesel affair have not been reflected in the survey results to date, with the business climate index remaining at a very high level,” ifo said. The index for the overall economy dipped slightly, showing that the already booming economy is poised for further growth.

Find the ifo release here.

Find background on the diesel scandal here.

The Wall Street Journal

Ahead of the September general elections, German politicians “are turning their backs on a scandal-ridden [car] industry,” because strongly supporting the car industry is becoming a liability, writes William Boston in Wall Street Journal. “While the government isn’t about to drop all support to the car industry, experts say in the current environment it likely won’t lend manufacturers as friendly an ear as in the past without more concessions on advancing alternative-energy vehicles,” writes Boston.

Read the article (behind paywall) in English here.

Find out how Germany’s established carmakers seek to adapt to the transformation of mobility in this CLEW dossier.

Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)

Germany’s major parties say that they are committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, but climate protection measures specified in the election programmes of CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP and the Green Party are not enough to reach the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, write economists Christine Merk and Wilfried Rickels of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) in an analysis. The four parties told voters that limiting greenhouse gases alone was enough. But, according to Rickels, there is a scientific consensus that technologies to withdraw CO₂ from the atmosphere and save it (negative emissions) are necessary.

Read the press release in German here and the analysis in German here.

Find the party’s election programmes in the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.

DUH / Süddeutsche Zeitung

The NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) initiated several additional legal proceedings on emissions limits in German cities, bringing the total number of affected cities to 45, the organisation writes in a press release. “Diesel driving bans in more than 60 German cities by 2018 are inevitable,” after the environment ministry said that the planned software updates were not enough to guarantee clean air, said DUH head Jürgen Resch.
Representatives of German municipalities and ministries gathered in Berlin in a first post-Diesel Summit working group meeting to discuss their own diesel vehicle fleets, write Markus Balser and Michael Bauchmüller in a separate article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Read the SZ article in German here and the DUH press release in German here.

See a CLEW article on the Diesel Summit’s results and a CLEW timeline of the dieselgate affair for background.


German utility Steag is currently in the process of selling stakes in power grids, district heating, wind parks and bio energy in several countries to help the company through its current crisis, writes Jürgen Flauger in an article for the Handelsblatt. Steag operated mainly coal fired power plants, which cease to be profitable, writes Flauger.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The market for green bonds is still comparably small, but ecologically sustainable bonds become more significant as climate protection is increasingly important for the population, writes Markus Frühauf in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Green Bonds still lack standard criteria on when they could be seen as ecologically sustainable and ‘green washing’ continues to be a problem, writes Frühauf.

Read the article in German here.

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