17 Nov 2016, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

German climate performance down- study/ Coal exit for state of Berlin?

Germany is ranked 29th in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) by environmental organisation Germanwatch – a position blamed on lagging greenhouse gas emissions reduction and the lack of a clear roadmap for ending coal-fired power generation. “This year’s CCPI confirms that many EU countries, including the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, risk losing their leading role in renewable energy development,” said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe, in a press release. The CCPI evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 58 countries that are together responsible for more than 90% of global energy-related CO2 emissions.

Read the press release in English here and the full report in English here.

Greenpeace Energy

German CO2 emissions in power generation could be immediately reduced by one quarter if low-emission fossil power plants were given priority for electricity generation, environmental organisation Greenpeace Energy writes in a press release. Emissions could be cut by about 79 million tonnes per year if power plants were deployed according to ecologic rather than economic criteria, according to a study commissioned by Greenpeace Energy and carried out by the Öko-Institut. Favouring plants fired with relatively more expensive natural gas over those fired with cheaper, but also dirtier, coal “would result in higher fuel costs, but which would still be significantly lower than average climate costs”, Greenpeace Energy writes. Applying this mechanism to power plant deployment would have resulted in about 1.1 billion euros higher costs in 2015 – which would equal 14 euros for every tonne of CO2 saved, the environmental organisation says.

Read Greenpeace Energy’s press release in German here.

See the study in German by the Öko-Institut here

SPD / Green Party / Left Party (Berlin)

The Energiewende and climate protection are “central projects” of the new government coalition of Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens and the Left Party in the federal state of Berlin. The three parties confirm Berlin’s plan to become climate-neutral by 2050 and set an end date for coal: “Berlin will end lignite use in 2017 and hard coal use by 2030 at the latest,” says the agreement. The new government wants to establish a “Berlin Climate Fund” to finance climate protection measures in all sectors. The coalition plans to shift Berlin “step-by-step and as fast as possible” to a fully renewable energy supply. The transport transition will be supported through a general “redistribution of road traffic in favour of public transport, bicycles and pedestrians” and e-mobility projects. The agreement will now be discussed within the parties.

Find the full agreement in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article Migration trumps energy in regional votes despite anti-wind party and the CLEW factsheet Facts on German state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Die Welt

Biofuels “celebrate a secret comeback” in the recently adopted Climate Action Plan 2050 by the German federal government, writes Daniel Wetzel in die Welt. “In the target scenario, the energy supply of street and rail traffic, as well as parts of air and maritime traffic and inland shipping, is switched to biofuels – if ecologically compatible – and otherwise largely to renewable electricity,” says the plan. E-mobility alone might not be enough for Germany’s transport sector to reach its 2030 emissions reduction target laid out in the climate plan, writes Wetzel.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Bioenergy in Germany and the CLEW factsheet Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050.


The project “enera” in the rural North-Western German region of Eastern Frisia could become the next step on the way to establishing smart energy grids across Germany, writes Angela Schmid in WirtschaftsWoche. “enera” is aimed at steering energy flows so that production and consumption based on volatile renewable energy sources become optimally harmonised, Schmid writes. It boasts about 32,000 smart measuring systems, numerous energy storages and new energy market models. “This is the first time data is being generated at this scale,” project manager Ulf Brommelmeier told WirtschaftsWoche. He added that the “big data” collected by “enera” could help developing new business models relying on a real-time calculation of energy demand rather than on projections.

Read the article in German here.

For more information on the Energiewende and grids, see the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.


The world climate conference 2017 may be hosted by Germany, the news agency Reuters reports. Delegates at the COP22 in Marrakesh will vote on a proposition to hold the COP23 in the city of Bonn, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s seat, Reuters adds. The presidency, however, should be held by Fiji. Bonn has been deemed a more appropriate host city due to the scale of the conference, with over 200 participating nations, according to Reuters.

Read the article in German here.

Focusing on e-mobility is the cheapest long-term way for Germany to achieve decarbonised transportation, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) writes in a press release. A study commissioned by the UBA and carried out by the Öko-Institut found that a transport transition based on e-cars will result in lower costs than with any other alternative fuel, such as power-to-gas or fuel cell technologies. The macroeconomic costs for erecting a corresponding infrastructure with charging stations and overhead contact lines, changing the fleet of vehicles and providing energy are the lowest in a scenario where power is used directly in e-cars rather than transforming it into alternative fuels, according to the UBA.

Find the UBA’s press release in German here.

Find the Öko-Institut’s study in German here.

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

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