'Germans want more climate action' / Belgians keep nuclear plants running

WWF Germany

“Germans want more climate action”

German citizens would like to see more engagement in the fight against climate change, environment organisation WWF Germany says, referring to a representative survey by research institute YouGov. The concerns among Germans about climate change have grown in the past five years, WWF said in a press release. 54 percent of participants said that Germany should be doing more or a lot more to fight global warming, 32 percent said the country is doing enough. 78 percent deemed it important that Chancellor Angela Merkel push for more ambitious climate targets within the EU. A majority of 70 percent agreed that coal power should be phased out as soon as possible or in the medium term by 2035.

Read the press release in German here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“German-Belgian nuclear fission”

Yesterday’s official request to the Belgian government by German environment minister Barbara Hendricks to temporarily take two nuclear reactors off line is unprecedented, writes Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Belgian nuclear supervisory body FANC reacted “surprised” and rejected the claims that the two reactors were not safe. “Our conclusions remain unchanged, no matter what Minister Hendricks says.” In a separate opinion piece, Bauchmüller criticises deficits in the European nuclear monitoring regime: “The consequences of a nuclear accident are borderless. The precautions in the EU are not.”

Read the article in German here.

Read the opinion piece in German here.

 

SPD

Agreement on the future of e-mobility

After today’s summit, the leadership of the federal government coalition groups presented a resolution on concrete features of a funding structure for electric cars. In a press release, the Social Democrats (SPD) confirmed yesterday’s rumours and announced the agreements on points like tax exemption for pure e-cars, setting up a charging infrastructure and drafting a new law on automated driving. Not on the meeting’s agenda, however, was a possible buyer’s premium for new electric cars. This is to be discussed at a summit of auto industry representatives with Chancellor Angela Merkel and economics minister Sigmar Gabriel at the end of the month.

Read the SPD press release in German here.

Find the coalition resolution in German here.

 

Die Welt / Handelsblatt

“RWE chief executive: ‘disaster’ at power utility”

Utility RWE AG’s chief executive Peter Terium is asking the federal government for help in light of the company’s “tense financial situation,” reports Handelsblatt. Terium firmly counts on the decision to create a capacity market to ensure “safe and weather-independent” prices for power production, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt.
He warned of the collapse of conventional power production if wholesale electricity prices did not go up, and added that this would endanger supply security for times with little wind or sunlight. Terium sees RWE as an integral building block of the energy transition: “We want to make this company the number one Energiewende enterprise in Germany.” At the meeting, the shareholders voted to support RWE’s decision to suspend dividend payments.

Read the Die Welt article in German here.

Read the Handelsblatt article in German here.

Find a CLEW factsheet on RWE’s plans for a new renewable subsidiary here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Secret data”

Employees of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) claim they are under pressure from the auto industry and have gotten little support from government bodies like the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (BMWi) in carrying out their mandate to investigate the German car emissions scandals, according to internal UBA documents, like emails, obtained by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “My impression is that the BMWi is concerned about industrial policy issues,” reads a UBA-e-mail referring to the hands-off attitude of the economics ministry, the paper writes. Another e-mail makes reference to possible legal threats from car companies, although the car companies rejected these claims when asked by the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Read the article in German here.

 

WirtschaftsWoche

“New business models to trigger growth”

The installation of solar pv modules on houses has slowed in Germany but new business models, such as solar power for tenants, online sales and combination offers could revive the German solar sector, writes Dieter Dürrand in WirtschaftsWoche. According to research institute Trendresearch, as much as 2,000 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity could be installed again next year, and between 2014 and 2018 it could increase to 2,400-2,600 MW annually. The driver of this development would not be generous feed-in tariffs, because they are a thing of the past, but innovative business models that make it easy for customers to come by a solar roof that gives tenants and landlords the opportunity to save on their power bills.

 

Manager Magazin

“Chinese lure BMW’s electric stars away”

Chinese e-car start-up Future Mobility has hired four former engineers from German car maker BMW (located in Bavaria), Manager Magazin reports. One of them, Carsten Breitfeld is head of the new Chinese company – he worked on BMW’s hybrid sports car i8 before. “The Bavarians are losing in one go a lot of electric mobility expertise,” author Wilfried Eckl-Dorna writes.

Read the article in German here.

 

Carbon Pulse

“Absorption threshold of EU’s MSR may be too high in light of lignite plant risks –analysts”

The troubles in Germany’s lignite sector could upset the Market Stability Reserve (MSR) of the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), writes Mike Szabo on Carbon Pulse. Closures of unprofitable plants would significantly depress demand for emissions certificates (EUAs), meaning the threshold to trigger the MSR may be too high, according to the article. “In theory, the elimination of this demand could mean the MSR will stop absorbing EUAs from the market at a time when it is still handling excess supply,” Szabo says.

Read the article in English here.

 

Bayerischer Rundfunk

“Bavaria undermines the energy transition”

The Bavarian state government decided in 2011 that all power for public buildings would come from renewable sources, but experts say that the state is ignoring advice from the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) regarding the quality of renewable power, Bayerischer Rundfunk reports. Without the quality control, the power can be bought from “decades old Norwegian hydropower plants” instead of being sourced from new renewable installations in Germany, which would further the energy transition at home, the article says.

Read the article in German here.

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