03 May 2018, 00:00
Sören Amelang

Germany headed for solar record/ Electric cars as carmakers' cash cows


Germany is headed for record solar power generation next week as forecasters predicted intense sunshine, reports Rachel Morison for Bloomberg. “Output from photovoltaic panels in Germany could reach as high as 28,318 megawatts on May 7, according to Bloomberg’s weather model. That would beat a peak from last May of 27,796 megawatts,” according to Morison.
Thanks to intense wind and sunshine, Germany's renewable power production briefly exceeded the entire country's electricity demand for the second time ever on 1 May, a bank holiday when power demand was low.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the factsheet Germany’s renewable generation peaks remain shrouded in data fog.     


The new EU fleet emission limits taking effect in 2020 mean that some carmakers will in effect save more than 10,000 euros per electric car sold due to avoided penalty payments, argues car industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer in a commentary for business daily Handelsblatt. “After the fall of diesel cars, these limits are only achievable by selling a considerable number of electric cars,” writes Dudenhöffer. A carmaker selling 100,000 vehicles with average emissions of 130 g CO2 would have to pay an annual penalty of about 330 million euros because the new EU limit is 95 g. The carmaker would avoid the penalty altogether if it manages to sell about 27,000 electric cars – translating into a saving of 12,350 euros per electric vehicle. “The unloved child turns into a cash cow. The EU regulations trigger a surprising price and value mechanism,” writes Dudenhöffer.

Read the commentary in German (behind paywall) here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

Tagesspiegel Background

Producing gas using renewable power is crucial for the success of Germany’s energy transition if the country decides to pursue ambitious climate targets, according to a meta-analysis by energy management consultancy enervis commissioned by Leipzig natural gas trader VNG, reports Felix Wadewitz in Tagesspiegel Background. If Germany decides to lower CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the lower end of its climate target range of cutting CO2 output by 80 to 95 percent, power-to-gas technology will barely play a role. In contrast, a more ambitious aim of a 90 percent emission cut will hardly be possible without the technology, reports Tagesspiegel. Ambitious climate policy would require a roll-out of power-to-gas infrastructure as early as the 2020s, meaning Germany must specify its 2050 climate targets soon, writes Wadewitz.

Find plenty of background in the new factsheet Sector coupling - Shaping an integrated renewable energy system


The German government will have to decide in the coming days who will participate in the country’s coal exit commission because Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet is due to approve the composition on 16 May, report Silke Kersting and Klaus Stratmann in Handelsblatt. The four major German coal states recently demanded a “stronger voice” in the “special commission on growth, structural economic change and employment”, which is supposed to find an end date for coal power in Germany in 2018 and define ways to manage the structural change.

Read the article in German (behind paywall) here.

Die Zeit

The vastly improved diesel technology by leading car supplier Bosch deserves a chance because NOx emissions stay well below the strict 2020 EU emission rules and diesel engines emit less CO2 than petrol engines, writes Dietmar Lamparter in a commentary in weekly Die Zeit. “A rehabilitated diesel could buy time for carmakers like BMW, Daimler and Audi, as well as their suppliers, like Bosch or Continental, as a transition technology for the next ten or twenty years,” writes Lamparter. “Until then, investments in alternative engines worth billions could pay off because all of them know that these will replace combustion engines in the long run.”

Read the commentary in German here.  

For background, read the CLEW dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

Greentech Media / manager magazine

Mercedes-Benz will stop production of residential batteries, ending a short-lived challenge to storage systems made by Tesla, start-up Sonnen and others, reports Julian Spector for Greentech Media. Little over two years after the launch, Mercedes-Benz exited because its batteries, stress-tested for the work of propelling vehicles through the streets, proved too expensive to compete for the sedentary role of sitting in someone's house, Mercedes-Benz spokesperson Madeleine Herdlitschka told the author. "It’s not necessary to have a car battery at home: They don’t move, they don’t freeze," she said. "It's overdesigned." The company plans to continue its large-scale storage operations by repurposing used car batteries, according to the article.

Read the article in English here.

Find an article in German in manager magazine here.

Find plenty of background in the factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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