13 Feb 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Energiewende boosts engineering companies / Gas supplies fall

German Engineering Federation (VDMA)

A majority of engineering companies believe the Energiewende is good for their own business and good for Germany as a business location, according to a poll by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). Approval rates rose considerably last year, with 63 percent of companies saying the energy transition already had a positive impact on their business, and 73 percent saying it will have a positive impact in the future. But companies remained unhappy with the government: 80 percent said they were dissatisfied with the energy transition's current political implementation, according to the survey.

Find the survey in German here.

Find other polls in the CLEW factsheet What business thinks of the energy transition.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Strong heating demand caused by low temperatures halved the filling level of German gas holders to 36 percent within eight weeks, reports Andreas Mihm for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Uniper, the fossil spin-off from utility E.ON, warns a long winter could lead to a “critical supply situation in Germany.” Uniper CEO Klaus Schäfer told the newspaper gas holder operators faced significant economic pressure, because legislation does not sufficiently appreciate their role. But utility association BDEW said there was no need to worry for households. The economics and energy ministry (BMWi) told the newspaper there were no signs of supply disruptions, adding the change in filling levels indicated a fully functioning and liquid market for natural gas.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and its implications for international security and the factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Berliner Zeitung

Climate protection is part of the Green Party’s “core profile”, which makes it a prime campaign topic in the upcoming  federal elections, scheduled for autumn, Winfried Kretschmann, state premier of Baden Wurttemberg told Berliner Zeitung. “I don’t see that this is something that occupies the minds of the other parties. So we have a big opportunity to push in between,” said Kretschmann.

Read the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW Dossier Vote2017 – German elections and the Energiewende.

Frankfurter Rundschau

Germany’s fracking law, which takes effect today, is a setback for climate protection, argues Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) climate expert Ann-Kathrin Schneider in a guest commentary for Frankfurter Rundschau. “To limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius, the focus must be on the fast roll-out of renewables, drastic energy savings, and improvements in energy efficiency, but not an increase of natural gas extraction with the accompanying increase in CO2 emissions.”

Read a CLEW factsheet on Germany's dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung

German federal state governments are unlikely to allow hydraulic fracking test drillings on their land, writes Dirk Fisser in Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. The newspaper had asked representatives of state governments about their willingness to carry out one of the four test drillings that are allowed under new federal regulation. Only Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania “could not totally rule out” drillings in the future, writes Fisser. Thus – besides the general ban on unconventional fracking – “even [the test drillings] will likely not be carried out” in Germany, writes Fisser.

Read the article in German here.

pv magazine

Germany’s regional governments believe the country should give higher priority to the development of power storage technology, according to a resolution by the council of federal state governments (the Bundesrat), reports pv magazine. The states are calling on the government to develop a strategy both for large and smaller decentralised storage facilities. A Bundesrat resolution does not have any binding character, and the government can decide whether to act on it or not.

Read the article in German here.

Find background in the CLEW dossier New technologies for the Energiewende and the factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?

German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Germany and Poland are crucial for filling the EU energy union with substance, but controversies over differing interests have stalled progress in energy policy cooperation, according to a paper from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). A better energy cooperation between the two countries, for example on electric cars, efficiency, and renewable projects, could improve security and sustainability, the authors argue.

Find the paper in English here.

German Bundestag

Social Democrat and former German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected President of Germany with 931 of 1239 valid votes by the Federal Convention of the Bundestag and state parliament delegates in Berlin. In his acceptance speech, Steinmeier told Germans: "Let's be brave, because then I will not fear for the future.” The current coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD, as well as the Green Party and the Free Democrats had announced before the vote that they would support Steinmeier. Steinmeier will begin his term on 19 March. As foreign minister, Steinmeier had called the Energiewende “the German ‘Man-to-the-Moon’ project.”

Read the press release in German here and read a Reuters article on the topic in English here.

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