The price of emitting one tonne of CO2 in Europe should be at least 25 to 30 euros “for a start”, Johannes Teyssen, head of German utility E.ON, says in an interview with Spiegel Online. Teyssen’s proposed price would be up to four times higher than the current price under the European Emissions Trading System (ETS), which according to him “doesn’t work” due to excessive quantities of emissions granted to European companies. Teyssen argues that the next German government should heed French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal and introduce a carbon floor price in the EU, which “if necessary could initially only be used in a few countries”, such as France, Germany, and the UK. The CEO, who before E.ON’s recent decision to spin off its renewables division and conventional generation into separate companies had been an avid supporter of coal-fired power production, says he has made “misjudgements” about the technological progress of renewable energy sources, and also about “the will in the whole world to invest in them”.
Find the interview in German here (behind paywall).
See the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition for background.
Electric cars produced by US manufacturer Tesla have been removed from the list of e-cars eligible for subsidies in Germany because Tesla’s Model S was “too expensive” to qualify for the support, Business Insider reports on its website. A spokesman for the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bafa) explained that the base version without extra features of Tesla’s Model S could not be bought for less than the 60,000 euro price cap set for the programme. A spokesperson for Tesla called Bafa’s explanation a “completely false accusation”, arguing that cheaper versions of the Model S were in fact available and had already been delivered to customers in Germany.
Under the one billion euro subsidy scheme, buyers get 4,000 euros off their all-electric vehicle purchase and 3,000 euros off plug-in hybrids. Norway, which runs a similar scheme, has also considered removing Tesla from its list of eligible vehicles.
Read the article in English here.
See the CLEW factsheet The Energiewende and German carmakers for more information.
ADAC Motorwelt / Focus Online
Germany’s leading lobbyist for the car industry, Matthias Wissmann, says that those opponents of the use of cars who today fight for the condemnation of diesel cars in the wake of the emissions fraud scandal will eventually turn against electric cars as their ultimate goal is to “bring down an entire industry”. In an interview with industry magazine ADAC Motorwelt published on Focus Online, Wissmann, who heads the car industry association VDA, says his aim is to “safeguard individual mobility”, and to bring it into a “reasonable balance” with economic viability and climate protection. Wissmann says the EU target to reduce CO2 emissions from cars by 30 percent by 2030 is “more than challenging”, and could only be achieved if all engine technologies, including diesel, gasoline, natural gas, hybrid, fuel cells, and electric cars are brought into play.
Read the interview in German here.
See the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany for background.
An “ideological war” in Germany’s energy policy puts thousands of jobs and the country’s energy supply security at stake, the mining union IG BCE says in a press release. Speaking at a rally held near the Niederaußem coal-fired power plant in the western mining region of North Rhine-Westphalia in the last week of November, IG BCE head Michael Vassiliadis said that with “every gigawatt” of coal power capacity that is shut down, “1,000 jobs are on the line”. He added that the debate over the “premature” decommissioning of coal plants during the failed Jamaica coalition talks in Germany was based on “emotions” rather than “realism”, and that the arguments of the fossil industry were not heard by the political parties. Vassiliadis called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to “give clear guidelines” for Germany to achieve its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.
Find the press release in German here.
See CLEW's updated factsheet Coal in Germany for background.
Centre for European Economic Research
German households that receive social benefits or are indebted are more likely to be affected by power cuts than others, a study conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) has found. While “income plays a major role” in the roughly 330,000 forced cuts of electricity supply for German households in 2016, these “cannot solely be explained by low incomes”, the ZEW says in a press release, adding that existing debt was a “very significant” factor. Other contributing factors were a low level of formal education and the number of people living in a given household, with single households being at a greater risk. “A lack of family support in problem solving and insufficient formal education play an important role”, says Peter Heindl of the ZEW. The best way to prevent power cuts was “tailor-made debt counselling”, Heindl says.
Read the press release in German here.
See the CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power and the CLEW article Welfare groups urge power cost relief for German poor for more information.
Germany must immediately cut its lignite power capacity if it wants to achieve its 2020 climate target of reducing emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels, climate scientist Mojib Latif says in an article on Spiegel Online. “But what is lacking simply is the political will to do it. This is about Germany’s credibility,” Latif says. The annual UN climate conferences might have strengthened the political will to address the problem of global warming, “but in reality the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been rising ever faster", and the alleged climate pioneer Germany has been contributing its fair share, he added.
Read the article in German here.
See this CLEW interview with Mojib Latif for more information.