23 Dec 2016
Julian Wettengel

German car industry top global R&D investor/ Record power exports 2016

Berlin Cathedral Church (Berliner Dom) - view from the CLEW offices.
Berlin Cathedral Church (Berliner Dom) - view from the CLEW offices.

German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)

German carmakers rank first in worldwide research and development, accounting for about a third of the automobile industry’s total global R&D investment, according to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). The country’s manufacturers invested 38.6 billion euros in 2015 (2014: 34.3 billion euros). “With enormous will to innovate and invest, the German auto industry goes down the path of e-mobility and digital transformation. […] It thereby makes a significant contribution to secure the competitiveness of the automobile location Germany,” says Matthias Wissmann, president of VDA, in a press release.

Read the press release in German here.

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

tageszeitung (taz)

In 2016, Germany will again have exported a record amount of electricity, as levels have already exceeded the 2015 total, writes Bernward Janzing in tageszeitung (taz). The country will have exported about 50 billion kilowatt hours by year’s end, most of it to the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Poland (in this order), according to the data provided by research institute Fraunhofer ISE.

Read the article in German here.

For more data on Germany’s electricity read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Looking at the recent constitutional court ruling on Germany’s nuclear exit, the decision by federal economy minister Sigmar Gabriel to pay lignite power plant operators for mothballing their facilities might have been exaggerated, says Klaus Töpfer, founding director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to Töpfer, the court made clear that governmental authorisations, such as power production from nuclear or fossil sources, can be revoked without infringing property rights. “In my view [Gabriel’s decision] goes beyond what the Federal Constitutional Court deemed necessary. With this decision […] somebody is compensated so that he stops damaging,” says Töpfer.

Read the interview (behind paywall) in German here.

For background read the CLEW article Germany's constitutional court backs speedy nuclear exit.

German Energy Agency

Alternative drives and fuels play only a minor role in company car fleets, according to a survey by German Energy Agency (dena). “Only 10 percent include such low-emission vehicles [and] only 3 percent have electric vehicles,” writes dena in a press release. Diesel continues to dominate in company business fleets: 57 percent of the fleets consist mainly of diesel cars, only 19 percent do without. “Company fleet managers have a big influence on the passenger car market,” as fleets made up almost two-thirds of newly registered cars, according to Andreas Kuhlmann, dena’s chief executive.

Read the press release in German here and find the survey results in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The Energiewende enters a new phase with more emphasis on new technologies and e-mobility – driven by citizens – than on the nuclear exit and the switch to renewable energies, German utility EnBW’s CEO, Frank Mastiaux, tells Bernd Freytag and Susanne Preuss for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “That offers a completely different landscape of opportunities and risks for the company,” says Mastiaux. EnBW will transform from a simple energy supplier to a provider and operator of infrastructure – even beyond the energy sector, write Freytag and Preuss. In 2016, EnBW for the first time earned more with the power grid and renewable energies than with conventional generation.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Car suppliers whose sales depend largely on the combustion engine face a difficult future after the emissions scandal and analysts predict stock prices will remain relatively unchanged over the coming year, writes Martin Gropp in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Suppliers that already work in the field of e-mobility, like engineering company Bertrandt, have more potential to profit, even from the early days of the transformation.

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

Renewable Energies Agency (AEE)

Wind and solar power continue to face large cost reductions, according to a meta analysis of 15 studies on energy technology investment costs by Renewable Energies Agency (AEE). “More good news for the Energiewende is that also for storage technologies one can expect drastically falling investment costs in some instances,” writes AEE in a press release.

Find the press release in German here and download the analysis in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier New technologies for the Energiewende.

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Sven Egenter

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