26 Oct 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Ruby Russell Julian Wettengel

Environment minister - German conventional car sales to end in 2030

Environment ministry

Carmakers should not count on combustion engine sales in Germany beyond 2030, according to Environment minister Barbara Hendricks. Even without a ban, the companies won't be able to find buyers for the technology in the future, Hendricks said at an event in Berlin. German carmakers need to move up a gear on e-mobility if they want to remain in the lead. “The danger is not change, but missing out on change.” She said it was too early to judge whether Germany’s buyer’s premium for e-cars was successful or not. 

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

Economy Minister

Federal Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is against establishing a commission to set a date on the phase-out of coal in Germany. Gabriel objected to the proposed commission as it would not address the situation of coal sector workers, saying it was necessary to present “job alternatives, structural alternatives to those who work in lignite, before starting to talk about reducing lignite.” The minister was speaking today at the Innovation Congress 2016 in Berlin, organised by mining, chemicals and energy industries trade union IG BCE. He said merely setting a date to give up coal “is exactly what we shouldn’t do, if we want to take along the citizens regarding the Energiewende”. The remarks reinforced Gabriel’s statements from June. In January, Gabriel had called for a round table on the future of coal.

For background, read the CLEW article Coal exit proposal reveals faultlines in energy debate.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Munich-based firm Siemens could be left shouldering costs for a Finnish nuclear power plant as its partner in the project, the French Areva Group, is broken up by the French state, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. Finnish power plants operator TVO is calling for Siemens to take responsibility for completing construction. The plant has faced numerous delays, and there is concern over its future profitability.

See the article in German here.


The EU will decide by Monday whether to ease restrictions on Russia’s access to a gas pipeline link to Germany, Euractiv reports. EU antitrust regulators are due to meet with Russian state gas exporter Gazprom in Brussels on Wednesday.

See the article in English here.

Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)

The IÖW has published a study on the role small home power generating installations can play in the German energy system, with regulatory recommendations to encourage their use. A growing number of citizens and businesses are generating power and partly consuming it themselves, the IÖW says in a press release. These people can contribute to keeping the grid stable by controlling how much power they feed on to the grid. The study recommends better financial incentives for such services, such as exemption for grid charges where power is self-consumed.

See the press release in German here.

Spiegel Online

A US judge has approved a record settlement of 16.5 billion dollars (15.2 billion euros) over the VW exhaust scandal. Much of the sum to be paid out by the German carmaker will go to buybacks and customer compensation. No such deal has been reached in other countries, including Germany, Spiegel reports.

See the article in German here.


A legal opinion for the federal parliament says carmakers’ failure to disclose the use of 'defeat devices' - which reduce an engine’s performance during emissions testing - represent “a continuous and severe violation of the law”. The opinion from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt goes against the view of Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt and Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), which had seen the “thermofenster” devices as permissible to ensure the protection of the motor at low temperatures, German public television broadcaster ZDF reports. 

 See the article in German here.  

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