27 Feb 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Benjamin Wehrmann

EU renewables proposal inadequate -ministry /Troubled Diesel birthday



Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Germany’s state secretary in the economy ministry (BMWi), Rainer Baake, finds the EU Commission’s proposals on support for renewable energy sources “inadequate,” the ministry says in a press release. In the run-up to a meeting by the Council of Ministers on the EU regulation package dubbed “Clean Energy for all Europeans,” Baake says he welcomes the fact that the Commission plans to gear its power market design to a greater share of renewable energy, “similar to the German power market 2.0.” Baake says it is right to allow for a free formation of prices but also says there should be greater convergence among European support schemes in order to ensure investor security.

Read the press release in German here.

For more information, see the CLEW factsheet Germany’s new power market design

Welt Online

The diesel engine has little reason to celebrate its 125th birthday, Welt Online reports. “Cheating software, driving bans, and declining prices” all tarnish the image of an invention Rudolf Diesel filed with the Imperial Patent Office in late February 1892, calling it the “new rational power heat machine,” Welt Online reports. Although the diesel engine today powers millions of passenger cars, lorries and ships, its share among newly registered vehicles in Germany has been in constant decline, the newspaper says. While it is technically feasible to reduce the harmful emissions of the diesel engine, this would greatly increase its price. “It’s these costs that will eventually drive the diesel engine into a niche,” Welt Online writes.

Read the article in German here

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

Europe’s most important industries should get more support for innovation to cope with structural change, Germany’s trade union for the mining, chemicals and energy industries (IG BCE) says in a press release. “We’re picturing a future fund,” for example for the energy and mobility industries, IG BCE’s chairman Michael Vassiliadis says. The fund would give investment support to companies seeking to unlock new business opportunities, IG BCE says. Vassiliadis called for subsidising high-end technology projects such as artificial photosynthesis and power-to-x technologies. Billions of euros are being spent on supporting renewable energies “that fluctuate strongly with the weather und have little further potential for innovation,” Vassiliadis says. Europe instead should focus on “thinking about alternatives for the ‘alternatives’”.

Read the press release in German here.

For background, see the CLEW factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?.


Spiegel Online

The German economy ministry plans to reimburse tenants for using power generated by photovoltaic arrays and district heating plants installed in the buildings they live in, Gerald Traufetter writes on Spiegel Online. According to a draft by the ministry, tenants will be eligible to receive grants of up to 3.81 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Traufetter writes. “Tenant power support can give the impetus for a further expansion of pv plants,” Spiegel Online quotes the ministry as saying. New Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries recently recently made similar announcements. The law is expected to be adopted before the current legislative period in autumn 2017.

Read the article in German here

Carbon Pulse

Environmentalists say Germany is blocking progress among EU countries on an agreement over post-2020 reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), reports Ben Garside for Carbon Pulse. According to some environmental groups, the country wants to hinder more ambitious reforms in order to protect industry.

Read the article in English (behind paywall) here.

German Steel Industry Association (Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl)

The future design of the EU Emissions Trading System is of "existential importance" for the steel industry, according to the German Steel Industry Association (Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl). The association says in a press release that the reform must not lead to disproportionate cost increases, which would put the industry at a disadvantage compared to competitors from outside Europe. The industry is calling on the government to stick to the ETS reform position contained in the Climate Action Plan 2050, including an increase of industry certificate allocations, and a continued power price compensation.

Read the press release in German here.

The Conversation

An ambitious target to replace all combustion engine cars in Germany with electric vehicles by 2030 might increase CO2 emissions instead of lowering them, writes Denes Csala, lecturer at Lancaster University, in an article for The Conversation. “Unless things change, Germany is unlikely to have enough green energy in time,” writes Csala. “The basic problem is that an electric car running on power generated by dirty coal or gas actually creates more emissions than a car that burns petrol.”

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.


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