Election to shape future of coal / Mercedes invests $1bn in US e-cars
Energy policy analyst and Green Party member Arne Jungjohann presents different scenarios for a coal phase-out in Germany, depending on the result of the general election and government coalition constellation in an article on chinadialogue.
Read the article in English here.
S&P Global Platts
While the current government coalition has largely shielded the coal industry, any coalition involving The Greens would at least start the process of phasing out coal as a power source, according to an election overview by energy news provider S&P Global Platts. The Greens have made a timetable for closing the 20 most-polluting coal-fired electricity plants a condition for joining a government coalition, "which would grate with the liberal FDP, which generally opposes state intervention.”
Read the factsheet in English here.
Find plenty of background on the elections in the dossier Energy and climate policy in Germany's election.
Mercedes-Benz plans to invest 1 billion dollars in making electric vehicles in the US state of Alabama, reports Nathan Bomey in USA Today. The investment will go both to an expansion of the German luxury brand's existing plant near Tuscaloosa and to build a new battery factory. Mercedes said it plans to begin construction in 2018 and start production at "the beginning of the next decade."
Read the article in English here.
The factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world provides the background.
Transmission grid operator (TSO) TenneT will raise grid fees by 9 percent at the turn of the year, executive board member Urban Keussen told Klaus Stratmann for the Handelsblatt. The rise is due to costs from measures to stabilise the power grid, such as more frequent re-dispatching in the first half of 2017, writes Stratmann. The measures were needed to accomodate fluctuating levels of wind and solar power fed into the grid.
The increase in grid fees shows that while prices for electricity generation from wind and solar PV continue to drop, increased use of renewables entails costs elsewhere, writes Stratmann in a separate opinion piece in the Handelsblatt.
For background, read the CLEW news digest article Need for power grid stabilising measures significantly down in 2016 and the CLEW factsheet Re-dispatch costs in the German power grid.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The real estate business is vital to creating infrastructure needed to expand e-mobility, writes Christian Hunziker in an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Owners of parking structures are among the most directly affected and existing lots often do not have sufficient electricity supply infrastructure. Logistics companies will have to set up the necessary charging points at warehouses, and office buildings will have to offer employees the possibility to charge their cars, writes Hunziker.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
Dieselgate and looming driving bans due to pollution in cities have triggered a discussion about the future of the combustion engine in Germany, but much more is required to decarbonise transport, writes researcher Weert Canzler in an opinion piece in Die Welt. “A transport transition implies more than just changing the engine. It’s about an efficient link-up of different modes of transport, which has become possible thanks to digitalisation.” Germans will have to move beyond the antiquated idea of the private car, writes Canzler. A green transport revolution requires an ambitious policy framework, he says, so the government should now agree to phase out new combustion engines by 2030. This would give carmakers the planning security necessary to shift research and development to alternative propulsion systems.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
For background on decarbonising transport, read the dossiers Car giant Germany struggles to ignite Energiewende in transportation and BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.
German carmakers say it is nearly impossible to retrofit hardware to clean up diesel engines, but this is simply untrue, according to the German car drivers’ association ADAC, Max Hägler reports in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Hägler writes that many German carmakers have been offering such technology in their parts catalogues for years, according to the ADAC. The debate about retrofits beyond simple software updates is “definitely not over yet, even if carmakers and industry-friendly politicians would like it that way,” said Reinhard Kolke, head of ADAC technology.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the article German carmakers pledge diesel software updates and buyer’s bonus.