17 Apr 2018, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energiewende "a business model" - econ min / Renewables levy turns 18

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas and economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier have welcomed some 2,000 government representatives, energy experts and business people from 90 countries to the two-day 4th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) in Germany’s foreign ministry. In their opening speeches, Maas called decarbonisation of the energy system “a necessary condition for a stable and peaceful world” while Altmaier described the German Energiewende as both an “open-heart surgery on a national economy” and a move that can bring “prosperity to the whole world”.

Check out CLEW’s rolling coverage from the event for updates on BETD news.


The average German household with an annual consumption of 4,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) has paid a total of about 2,200 euros renewables surcharge since the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) was introduced in April 2000 with the aim of supporting wind, solar and other regenerative power sources, price comparison website Verivox says in a press release. The EEG now has “come of age” by turning 18 this month and has helped to bring the share of renewables in power production to over 33 percent since its introduction, Verivox says. The EEG surcharge currently stands at 6.79 cents/kWh, meaning it accounts for about a quarter of the total power price. In 2000, it stood at 0.2 cents/kWh.

Find the press release in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power for more information.

Bavarian Industry Association

The Bavarian Industry Association (vbw) calls for an end of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which is aimed at supporting the expansion of renewable energy sources financially. In a press release on its “Agenda for Germany” for the year 2030, the vbw says Germany quickly had to come up with “a coherent general concept for energy policy” as the current management of the Energiewende, Germany’s energy transition, produces high costs and many regulations but fails to achieve its aim of lowering emissions. The EEG’s end would mean “an urgently required system change” in energy and climate policy.

Find the press release and the vbw’s agenda in German here.

For background, see the CLEW factsheet on renewables financing here.

Exxon Mobil

Primary energy consumption in Germany will be about one third lower in 2040 than it is today, US energy company Exxon Mobil says in a press release on its prognosis for the German energy demand. Exxon says increased efficiency and a change of energy sources will lower energy-related CO2 emissions by 50 percent in 2040 compared to 1990, meaning the country’s decarbonisationwill proceed slower than planned”. Natural gas will become Germany’s number one energy source by 2030 and renewables will cover about one quarter of Germany’s energy consumption in 2040, the company that makes a large part of its revenue with oil and natural gas sales says. Exxon also estimates that diesel technology will continue to play an important part in Germany’s transport sector in the decades to come. “In spite of all the debates” on diesel emissions and engine manipulation by carmakers, two thirds of the estimated 46 million cars in Germany will run on mineral fuels in 2040, whereas e-cars will account for one fifth of the car fleet in that year.

Find the press release in German here

See the CLEW article Energy sector drives slight drop in German emissions in 2017 for background.

German Federal Government

The German government does not consider the lower taxation of diesel fuel as a subsidy that favours use of the technology. In a response to a parliamentary inquiry by the Green Party, the government says the lower tax for diesel fuel does not amount to a subsidy as diesel cars are subject to a higher car tax than other engine types, arguing the rebate merely is “a general burden balance”. The government also says the definition of subsidies by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) does not match that of the government itself, which explains why the UBA regularly laments there are more environmentally damaging subsidies in place in the country than the government acknowledges.

Find the government’s response in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The power distribution grid of German federal state Hesse is in part ready for the transition to over 90 percent renewables in power production and heating that Germany strives to attain by 2050, according to a study by the Fraunhofer research institute and consultancy Bearing Point, Ewald Hetrodt writes in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The Hessian economy minister, Green politician Tarek al-Wazir, says the costs for grid expansion will be “moderate and controllable”, estimating they will not exceed 1.5 billion euros for the economically strong region that is home to Germany’s financial hub Frankfurt.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid for more information.

The port of Hamburg, Germany’s largest commercial harbour, is changing part of its container transport system to electric vehicles, port operator HHLA says in a press release. Battery-powered transporters will move the cargo containers between ships and depositories and are supposed to help stabilise the power grid by withdrawing or supplying power when docked to a charging station. HHLA head Angela Titzrath says the number of electrified vehicles will grow from the current 25 vehicles to 100 in 2022, reducing the port’s CO2 emissions by about 15,500 tonnes per year from then on.

Read the press release in German here.

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