17 Nov 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Benjamin Wehrmann

Germans want coal plant closures / Siemens axes fossil power jobs


A majority of Germans (64 percent) are in favour of closing coal power plants in order to reach 2020 climate targets, even if this move would cost jobs or push up electricity prices, according to a poll by public broadcaster ZDF. In contrast, 31 percent were against such measures. 57 percent of respondents said Germany does not do enough to protect the climate, while only 8 percent said the country did too much. 53 percent of respondents said the Green Party best represented their ideas on climate protection, compared to 17 percent for the CDU, and 6 percent for the FDP.

Find the poll results in German here.

For plenty of background, check out the factsheets Polls reveal citizens' support for Energiewende and Coal in Germany.


Siemens will cut about 6,900 jobs, or about 2 percent of its global workforce, mainly at its power and gas division hit by rapid renewables growth, report Georgina Prodhan and Christoph Steitz for Reuters. “The power generation industry is experiencing disruption of unprecedented scope and speed,” Siemens management board member Lisa Davis said. “With their innovative strength and rapidly expanding generation capacity, renewables are putting other forms of power generation under increasing pressure.”

Read the article in English here.

Find the Siemens press release in English here.

For more background on the utilities’ troubles, read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The huge gas turbines Siemens makes are models destined for phase-out, writes Markus Balser in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Electricity is no longer produced in a few large power plants, but in many places. An ever-increasing number of households are turning from consumers into producers, who feed the grid with power generated with solar cells or small block heating stations. Today, they can even store it in the cellar,” he says.

Read the article in German here.


Volkswagen will invest more than 10 billion euros with its partners to make and develop e-cars in China, reports Bloomberg. Volkswagen will make the investments by 2025 and introduce 40 locally produced vehicles, its China head Jochem Heizmann told reporters in Guangzhou Thursday.

Read the article in English here.

Find plenty of background in the CLEW factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.


The focus on climate protection by activists and politicians could overshadow necessary efforts in environmental protection, Ferdinan Knauß writes in the business weekly WirtschaftsWoche. “The preservation of biological diversity, of natural habitats and landscapes, of forests and wild animals has shifted out of the public focus and out of policymakers’ priorities due to a fixation on climate,” Knauß says. The environmental protection group International Union for Conservation and Natural Resources (IUCN) says climate change ranks low among reasons for species extinction, Knauß writes, clearly outweighed by factors such as land use for housing and industry or pesticides use in farming. The fixation on climate protection “mirrors a tendency of the political class (not only in Germany but here especially) to stress abstract global problems at the expense of ignoring concrete local catastrophes,” Knauß argues.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier COP23 – All eyes on Germany for more information.

Land use, land-use change and forestry in Germany absorbed fewer emissions in 2015 than in 2010. Net emissions were roughly minus 14.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents in 2015, compared to minus 16.4 million tonnes in 2010, according to Federal Statistical Office Destatis.

Read the press release in English here.

See the CLEW article Germany’s energy use and emissions likely to rise yet again in 2017 for background.  

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)

A comparison of German states reveals that Baden-Württemberg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Bavaria are Germany’s renewables leaders, according to the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). Hesse, Berlin and the Saarland were ranked the lowest in the analysis, which assessed the states’ political efforts and achievements in using renewables, as well as the related economic and technological changes.

Find a press release in English here.

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