German energy bourse goes China / EU warns diesel makers

Carbon Pulse

“German energy exchange EEX builds foothold in China’s emerging carbon market”

German energy bourse EEX has partnered with several Chinese exchanges to get a foothold in China’s emerging national emissions trading scheme, Kathy Chen and Mike Szabo report for Carbon Pulse. The group is advancing plans to offer trade in euro-denominated offshore carbon derivatives, allowing clients to access the market without the usual political and capital restrictions that typically apply to international investors. “It’s important for multinationals, such as BP and Shell, that have activities in China and will be part of the national scheme to be able to connect what they’re doing in China with what they’re doing elsewhere,” the CEO of EEX, Peter Reitz, told Carbon Pulse.

Read the full story on Carbon Pulse (subscription) here.
Find background on the European emissions trading system ETS in this CLEW factsheet.
Read more on Sino-German energy transition cooperation in this CLEW article.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

EU Commission calls for pulling manipulated diesel out of circulation

The European Commission is beginning to lose patience with carmakers and member states over the diesel emissions fraud, Markus Balser and Josef Kelberger write for Süddeutsche Zeitung. EU Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska is calling all cars with manipulated emissions data to be withdrawn from circulation if they are not retrofitted by the end of the year. “The demand is explosive as millions of cars in Europe haven’t been retrofitted yet,” the article says. Bienkowska has denounced German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s argument that lax EU legislation allowed carmakers to cheat, saying that national authorities failed to do their job. The EU Commissioner warns that the rapid collapse of the diesel market as a result of local driving bans would be in no one’s interest but banning diesel cars could be warranted if no other solution is found.

Read the article in German here.

 

Handelsblatt

Economy minister: “The diesel crisis is self-inflicted”

German carmakers must present ways to significantly reduce NOX emissions from diesel engines at an upcoming “diesel summit” with federal ministries, Handelsblatt report. Economy minister Brigitte Zypries told the business daily in an interview the companies must show how they will exist this “self-inflicted crisis” and avoid driving bans. Zypries said diesel engines were still needed to meet the country’s carbon emissions reduction goals, but in the long-term the industry must shift to alternative drives.

Find the interview (behind paywall) here.

Get background on German carmakers’ struggle to make inroads with e-mobility going in the Clean Energy Wire dossier.

 

WirtschaftsWoche

“Land of ideas? Not even Germany’s most important industry knows where it’s headed”

Asked about the future of Germany’s car industry, politicians “only get frank in confidential off-the-record conversations,” Miriam Meckel writes in an opinion piece for WirtschaftsWoche. “That’s when you see very concerned faces.” Politicians often pretend excessive diesel exhaust emissions and the sluggish development of electric cars “are problems that can be solved in the short term,” but in fact, “Germany has no idea what it wants to stand for in the future.” The auto industry the country’s most important industrial sector, yet apparently fails to grasp the changes it faces. Instead of a “narcissistic” reliance on the strength of the “Made in Germany” brand, government and carmakers must “address this change with speed and determination” and “stop lobbying in Brussels and Washington to preserve the status quo.” 

Read the article in German here.

Find background on the challenges for Germany’s automotive industry in this CLEW dossier.

 

Handelsblatt

“Comeback of the utilities”

The tough times Germany’s utilities have gone through as a result of the energy transition are coming to an end, with investor confidence in takeovers and rising power prices pushing stocks up, Susanne Schier writes for Handelsblatt. “The Fukushima nuclear disaster and Germany’s Energiewende hit the utilities’ business model hard,” she writes, but things are looking up for heavyweights RWE and E.ON, as well as their spin-offs Uniper and innogy. In terms of profits, E.ON and RWE still “are the most indebted” companies on Germany’s stock market index DAX, but selling more shares in their subsidiaries could ease their predicament, she says.

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).

Find more information on German utilities and the energy transition in this CLEW dossier.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“The network gets going”

German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Audi and Porsche – usually “best enemies” – joined forces a year ago to develop e-car charging infrastructure, Max Hälger and Stefan Mayr write for Süddeutsche Zeitung. The brands teamed up to “to share the burden of initial losses” and install thousands of charging stations across Europe by 2020. Together with partners from other industries, such as utilities innogy and EnBW, the carmakers want to beat Tesla on the speed and comfort of e-charging technology, and are ready to invest more than the US brand “to boost people’s willingness to buy an e-car,” the article says. Porsche in particular is pushing to install 350-kilowatt (KW) “Turboloaders” – which will be three times faster than Tesla’s, and are yet to hit the market.

Read the article in German here.

 

ESI Africa

“Germany’s Energiewende similar to South African renewable industry”

South Africa could learn from Germany’s mistakes by removing the obstacles coal power poses to integrating renewables into its electricity system early, think tank Agora Energiewende’s* Markus Steigenberger says in an article for ESI Africa. Although South Africa is behind Germany on the share of renewables in its power mix, cost reduction in the sector can make solar and wind the country’s cheapest source of energy, Steigenberger says. Germany was late to realise that existing coal power capacity is “not helping the future power system.”

Read the article in English here.

*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.  

 

Zeit Online

“We will have to abstain”

Switching to less resource-intensive consumption patterns is part of the solution to cutting carbon emissions, Felix Ekardt writes in a guest article for Zeit Online. Germany can only achieve its climate targets if people are willing to reduce their demand for clothes, meat, fuel and many other things, the sustainability researcher from the University of Leipzig argues. If global environmental protection targets are to be met, “nature has to be given more space,” he writes. Ekardt argues that until recently, we did fine without frequent long-haul flights and modern sports equipment, for example. Pushing new products on to the market and then correcting some of their environmental impacts is “not a sound eco-strategy.” Doing without could mean shifting away from a focus on growth but reducing consumption “is at least as important as the newest technological innovations,” Ekardt says.

Read the article in German here.

Find more information on Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets in this CLEW factsheet.

 

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