14 Dec 2016, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Energiewende “credibility” at risk - expert opinion on gov report

Federal Ministry for the Economy

Leading experts commissioned by the German economy ministry (BMWi) say Germany will probably miss key targets of the Energiewende, endangering the entire projects's credibility.” In their advisory opinion on the BMWi’s fifth Energiewende Monitoring Report, the experts said there was a “considerable need for action” for Germany to meet its own Energiewende targets. The country is on track to increase renewable power production but has failed to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency as planned. Amongst other things, the experts call for a “general price tag for CO2 as a leading instrument” to transform the energy system. In the report, the government concedes that reaching Germany’s 2020 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets will require “forceful implementation” of the Climate Action Programme 2020, confirming earlier projections of the environment ministry. The expert commission, however, said the government would “most likely” fail to achieve its emissions target.

Read the BMWi’s press release in German here and find the experts’ statement in German here.

Federal Ministry for the Environment

Germany’s Climate Action Programme 2020, initiated in 2014 to ensure the country meets its 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets, is likely to be less effective than expected, the Environment Ministry (BMUB) said in a press release. Projections for the auxiliary programme’s chances of cutting emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels now were “less optimistic,” the BMUB said. It predicted the likely effect would be “on the lower boundary” of a reduction between 37 and 40.4 percent. 

Read the BMUB’s press release here and the Climate Protection Report here.

The continued increase of engine performance of newly registered passenger cars in Germany prevented a reduction of their total CO₂ emissions between 2008 and 2015, writes Germany's statistics agency Destatis in a press release. New cars registered in 2015 had an average engine performance of 105.7 kilowatts (kW). In 2008, this figure was 96.4 kW. Passenger cars emitted a total of 112.3 million tonnes of CO₂ in 2015, compared to 107.3 million in 2008. CO₂ reductions of 9.8 million tonnes (-8.7 percent) would have been possible in this period – despite increasing numbers of cars and total kilometres driven - had the engine performance of Germany’s passenger car fleet remained unchanged. Even a falling average fuel consumption has not led to a reduction of emissions, writes Destatis.

Find the press release in English here and a longer version in German here.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Laboratory emissions tests carried out by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) for the European Commission suggested that Audi manipulated the diesel engine in the current A3 model to meet emissions limits, report Joachim Becker, Alexander Mühlauer and Klaus Ott in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “This reeks of fraud, even regarding new diesel models,” Claude Turmes, Green Member of the EU Parliament told Süddeutsche Zeitung. Audi says that the “A3 was alright” and that independent tests had shown very good results, writes Süddeutsche. 

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


Emission reduction targets for the building sector laid out in Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 combined with a planned limit to passing on modernising costs to tenants could “end in disaster” if landlords had to foot the bill, writes Michael Fuchs, Vice-Chairman of the conservative CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, in a guest commentary for Handelsblatt. “We have a conflict of objectives between the wish for affordable housing and highly ambitious climate targets. It is the task of a responsible government to make such conflicts of objectives transparent and find passable compromises together with the affected actors,” writes Fuchs.

For background read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050.

Allianz / Handelsblatt

Allianz Leben, the life insurance arm of Allianz in Germany, is ensuring the sustainability of its investments by using a scoring system developed in cooperation with NGOs, the company announced in a press release. "We want to invest in sound, future-oriented assets. And we want to know the risks and opportunities related to sustainability that we should be aware of for individual investments," said Andreas Lindner, head investor for Allianz Leben. The ESG scoring (environment, social, governance) is based on 37 key areas such as greenhouse ­gas emissions, rated energy efficiency, occupational safety, data protection, corruption and money laundering, writes Allianz. Between 85 and 90 percent of the portfolio of the Allianz group will meet these criteria by the end of the first quarter 2017, writes Handelsblatt in a separate article.

Read the Allianz press release in English here and the Handelsblatt article in German here.  


German utility E.ON aims to transform the global offshore wind generation market with high-altitude wind power generation technology, the company announced in a press release. New technology is harvesting wind by using a sail comparable to kite surfing in altitudes up to 450 meters instead of a rotor. The system is cheaper to manufacture and easier to deploy and maintain than conventional wind turbines, writes E.ON: “The cost potentially is so low that kite power generation would not need government incentives.” The utility invested in the British start-up Kite Power Solutions (KPS).

Read the press release in English here.

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