20 Mar 2018, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germans stick to combustion engine/ Business hopes for power price cut


Two-thirds of respondents in a survey in Germany say they will opt for a combustion engine in their next car, trumping alternative engines like hybrid or fully electric by far, consultancy Deloitte says in a press release. While 66 percent of respondents said they would buy a combustion engine, 23 percent said they were going for a hybrid car and seven percent for an e-car. “Cars with electric engines still don’t have the appeal and assertiveness that is expected,” the press release says. Deloitte says that in light of the dieselgate emissions fraud scandal, the interest in diesel engines has fallen by 35 percent since 2014 while the preference for petrol engines grew by 40 percent over the same period “to compensate for diesel’s losses.”

Find the press release in German here.

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


German carmakers BMW and Daimler are both expanding their e-car and battery production capacities in Southeast Asia to participate in the booming region’s economic growth, Frederic Spohr writes in Handelsblatt. According to consultancy Frost & Sullivan, Southeast Asia, which comprises Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, is especially open for electric mobility, with 37 percent of respondents in a regional survey saying they might buy an electric car. The government of Thailand subsidises investments in the production of hybrid and fully electric cars with eight years of tax exemption, which also makes the technology more attractive for customers, Spohr writes.

Read the article in German here.

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


Representatives of German businesses have welcomed the announcement by new economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier to work towards lower power prices for companies, Donata Riedel writes in WirtschaftsWoche. Christian Vietmeyer, CEO at the Association of Steel- and Metalworking (WSM), says small and middle sized industrial companies in particular suffer from high power costs. “The energy transition is a large-scale economic project and has to be financed through the federal budget,” Vietmeyer argues.

Read the article in German here.

See CLEW’s profile of economy minister Altmaier and the factsheet What business thinks of the energy transition for more information.

WWF Germany / BDEW

The German 2020 climate target can still be attained by combining a regional carbon floor price of 25 euros per tonne with a shutdown of the dirtiest coal plants in Germany, environmental organisation WWF Germany writes in a press release. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut), reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels would still be possible if Germany and several of its neighbouring countries introduce a minimum price for CO2 and shut down old lignite plants with a capacity of 7 gigawatt (GW). “This should be a sufficient incentive for the new German government to introduce a price together with the European neighbours,” says Michael Schäfer of WWF Germany, adding that a carbon floor price would also have to be discussed in the context of the planned commission for Germany’s coal exit. According to Schäfer, the price for emission certificates in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) is too low to bring about meaningful change before the mid-2020s.
The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) says the WWF’s proposal “misses the original problem”, as it would not target the most relevant sectors. Lobby group head Stefan Kapferer says the energy sector already contributes significantly to CO2 reduction, while the agriculture and heating sectors are stagnating and the transport sector emits even more than in 1990. “There is enormous potential for reduction that lies idle there,” Kapferer says.

Find the press release in German here.

See a CLEW interview with Schäfer on Germany’s 2020 climate target for background.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The European Commission is considering antitrust proceedings against Germany’s largest transmission grid operator, TenneT, over suspicions that the company is creating artificial power bottlenecks on the Danish-German border, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. This would amount to abuse of a dominant market position as it disadvantages non-German power producers, the article says. “Energy has to flow unobstructed in Europe,” says EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The “most radical” solution to insufficient transmission capacities in Germany would be to split up the country in two different power price zones, with low prices in the windy north and higher prices in the highly industrialised south, the newspaper says.

See the CLEW dossier Germany’s energy transition in the European context for more information.

Welt Online

In spite of a record wind power expansion in the western German region of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the country’s largest federal state still trails in terms of renewables expansion, Welt Online reports. In 2017, the state added 312 wind turbines, bringing the total number to about 3,580. According to LEE, the state’s renewable energy association, however, a new minimum distance for turbines from nearby residential buildings is set to slow down the technology’s expansion. NRW’s total renewables share in power consumption in 2017 stood at 12.5 percent, compared to 36 percent across Germany. The heavily industrialised state ranks third last in terms of renewables share, with only the city-states Berlin and Hamburg faring worse, the article says.

Read the article in German here.


After the announced split-up of German utility innogy between its parent company RWE and competitor E.ON, investors question whether the previous split of innogy from RWE was necessary, news agency Reuters reports. Old mantras about the future of the German energy market were “thrown out of the door”, portfolio manager Martijn Olthof told Reuters. In the context of its stock market listing in 2016, innogy spent between 40 and 60 million euros on advertisements alone but is now losing its independence after less than two years, the article says.

Read the article in English here.

Find more reactions to innogy’s split-up in this CLEW factsheet.

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