05 Oct 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Efficiency puts almost €500 in Germans' pockets - IEA

Clean Energy Wire

Germany is a world leader on energy efficiency, according to IEA executive director Fatih Birol. Speaking at the presentation of the IEA’s Energy Efficiency report 2017 in Berlin, Birol said that “every German citizen had 580 dollars more to spend on other things thanks to efficiency policies in 2016.” 

Birol lamented that only four countries around the world had introduced fuel efficiency standards for trucks, a “blind spot” in discussions over emissions and efficiency. Making CO2 emissions more expensive could reduce energy use, Birol said. But he added that government action was needed because markets alone would not do enough to boost efficiency.

German economics and energy minister Brigitte Zypries said the planned introduction of an “efficiency first” principle would put Germany on the right track, but that further efforts were urgently needed to meet the official target of cutting energy use by 20 percent by 2020.

Find the report in English here.

Read a Reuters article about the report in English here.

For background on efficiency, read the CLEW dossier Taming the Appetite for Energy.


Germany’s coal exit will be a major energy and climate policy topic in the coalition talks and the next government should work towards a coal consensus – similar to the one found on the exit from nuclear power, Jürgen Flauger writes in an opinion piece in the Handelsblatt. “It certainly makes sense to define a solid end date for lignite mining and power production. But it has to be reasonable,” Flauger writes. For climate protection, a coal exit must begin “sooner than economically desirable” for operators. Yet, to ensure supply security, it “must not be as hasty as wanted by environmental lobbyists” he says, adding that the topic of coal should not make “old turf battles resurface” in a possible coalition of CDU/CSU, FDP and Greens.

Read the opinion piece (behind paywall) in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets When will Germany finally ditch coal? and Vote2017: German parties' energy & climate policy positions.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Power transmission grid operators Amprion, TenneT and Transnet-BW are planning to increase grid fees by between 9 and 45 percent, Andreas Mihm writes for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Grid expansion and measures to stabilise the grid – such as re-dispatch measures – are partly responsible for rising costs in the West, Mihm writes. However, eastern German grid operator 50 Hertz plans to decrease fees by 11 percent, because progress on grid expansion has reduced the need for costly stabilising measures.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets Power grid fees- Unfair and opaque? and What German households pay for power.


German utility E.ON and service station operator Tank & Rast are collaborating on updating electric vehicle charging points at more than 90 locations along German motorways, E.ON has announced in a press release. E.ON will install and operate ultra-fast charging points with 150-kilowatt capacity, and a possible increase to up to 350 kilowatts. “Only if the charging of tomorrow is almost as fast as it currently is to fill up with petrol will e-mobility prevail in long distances,” E.ON chief operating officer Karsten Wildberger said.

Find the press release in English here.

For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


The diesel emissions scandal, with looming inner-city driving bans and decreasing resale values of used diesel cars, are driving more and more companies to switch their fleets to electric vehicles, Andreas Schulte writes for the Handelsblatt. In the short term, petrol car use in company fleets will also rise, but “step-by-step, the electric car will replace diesel and petrol as the preferred company vehicle,” Stefan Behringer, senior account manager at market research institute and consultancy Dataforce, said.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.

For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Stuttgarter Nachrichten

Green Party head Cem Özdemir has said his party will call for the introduction of a blue badge to be awarded only to lower-emission vehicles, in the upcoming exploratory coalition talks, Konstantin Schwarz writes for Stuttgarter Nachrichten. Such a badge would give German cities a legal basis for banning older diesel cars in order to bring harmful nitrogen oxide emissions within EU limits. The Green Party already endorsed the introduction of a blue badge in its election campaign programme.

Read the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW article Merkel at second diesel summit: must avoid driving bans "by all means" and the CLEW article on why the diesel discussion matters for climate and energy.

Pinsent Masons

Germany is the world's number one market for investing in smart energy, a new industry survey by law firm Pinsent Masons finds. “The opportunities for deploying energy infrastructure in greenfield sites, the level of existing technological innovation and a stable regulatory framework or cohesive national energy policy were the top three most cited factors for investors,” the firm says on its news site The study with the survey results was published in September. 

Read the article in English here.

See a press release in German and the study in English here.

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