Finance minister sceptical about e-car support / Utilities as 'capital destroyers'

Spiegel Online

“E-car subsidies – Schäuble dampens hopes of a buyer’s premium“

There is increasing scepticism within the federal government concerning subsidies for e-cars. Vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has repeatedly voiced support for a possible 5,000 euro buyer’s premium, but finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble is more cautious. “The federal government will give its share,” said Schäuble. This share, however, will not be as big as the auto industry expects, writes Spiegel Online. Schäuble said that he and Gabriel “pretty much agree” that they will find a solution.

Read the Spiegel Online article in German here.

 

Die Welt / DSW

RWE among biggest capital destroyers

The Deutsche Schutzvereinigung für Wertpapierbesitz (DSW) an association advising private investors on the stock market, published this year’s ranking of the biggest capital destroyers. While solar firms like Solarworld have fared badly in recent years, German utilities are now also rising in the ranks, with RWE coming sixth in the stock price ranking. “This is the first appearance of the energy supplier in the flop-ten,” says Marc Tüngler, managing director of DSW. RWE’s stock lost about 50% in value in 2015, largely due to falling electricity prices, the losses caused by its lignite power plants, and the costs connected to the phase-out of its nuclear power plants, writes Lukas Zdrzalek of Die Welt. RWE’s competitor E.ON is in position 20 of capital destroyers.

Read the article of Die Welt in German here.

Find the DSW Watchlist as a pdf here.

 

Climate Home

"Lost in Lusatia: Lignite goes from asset to liability"

Government officials are still hesitant to name any end dates or talk about a phase-out for the German coal energy. But with rising greenhouse gas emissions and the Paris agreement in place, coal is a “sector the government cannot afford to ignore”, writes Megan Darby for Climate Home. The changes will be especially hard on lignite-rich regions like Lusatia, where the fate of about 8,000 workers in the mining industry is uncertain.
Read the article in English here.

 

Handelsblatt

“The dangerous burden of brown coal”

The sale of Vattenfall’s brown coal branch could become expensive for the tax payer, writes Jürgen Flauger in a leader for the Handelsblatt. Vattenfall is not only looking for a buyer who wants to run the business of lignite mining and burning, but also a responsible owner who will take over the obligation to later recultivate the mines. This task can take decades and the tax payer could end up footing the bill if the new owner does not fulfil its responsibilities, Flauger says. For the population, a foundation solution would be the safest deal – such an entity could secure the money that is needed for restoring the landscapes that have been destroyed by the mines.

 

The Guardian

“Industrialised nations must lead an exit strategy for fossil fuels”

“Energy efficiency and renewables are indispensable weapons in the fight against climate change, but the real challenge is keeping fossil fuel reserves in the ground,” writes German energy state secretary Rainer Baake in a guest article for The Guardian. Germany needed to turn the challenge of cutting greenhouse gases and modernising the economy into an opportunity, he writes.

Read the article in English here.

 

Energy Post

“The German conundrum: renewables break records, coal refuses to go away”

Renewables accounted for one third of Germany’s electricity consumption in 2015. “If nothing untoward happens and the Germans stick to their plans, bituminous coal and lignite will never be restored to their former glory,” writes Jakub Kucera for Energy Post. It will still be “unexpectedly hard” for the country to get rid of coal entirely and to reduce CO2 emissions.

Read the article in English here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets here.

 

DENEFF

“Energy efficiency on track – success uncertain”

The German government has started implementing two-thirds of the measures announced in the 2014 National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NAPE), the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF) has found. It is not yet possible to tell whether this means that energy savings will be achieved, the organisation says. Measures such as the establishment of 500 energy efficiency industry networks and competitive tendering for efficiency measures were delayed.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on efficiency in the energy transition here.

 

PennEnergy

“Is Germany the role model for successful renewable integration?”

Despite Germany’s steep increase in renewable power production, the country’s grid has remained stable and reliable, reports Teresa Hansen for PennEnergy. Most of the grid balancing has so far been done without energy storage, digital technology and data analytics. Germany has instead relied on virtual power plants, she says.

Read the article in English here.

Read a CLEW dossier on the power grid here.

 

RWE

Sustainability report 2015

Per megawatt-hour of power produced from RWE facilities, 0.71 tonnes CO2 are emitted, the company writes in its sustainability report for the year 2015. Emissions were reduced by 4.4 million tonnes despite higher power production, the company calculated. This was because the share of renewables in its power generation increased from 7.5 to 9 percent.

Read the press release and download the report in German here.

 

Dow Jones Newswires

“Digitalisation of the energy transition should be decentral”

The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) says the current practice of power grid data management should be kept under the new digitalisation law that the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is planning, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Since the energy transition was largely a decentralised project, it would not make sense to bundle the data verification process at the level of the transmission grid operators, BDEW General Executive Manager Martin Weyand said. Distribution grid operators should continue to gather and check the data at their level.

 

Der Tagesspiegel

“How safe are Germany’s nuclear power plants?”

Belgian nuclear power plants were partially evacuated after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. They had apparently been under observation by terrorist suspects. Germany’s nuclear power plants also have to be prepared against terrorist attacks - but how is a secret, writes Sidney Gennies for Der Tagesspiegel. Utility E.ON says that protection from terror attacks is the duty of the state but that the company itself also had a security concept in place. It is more likely that a nuclear power plant is attacked or sabotaged from within, than an outside attack happening, Gennies writes.

Read the article in German here.

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