Germany is quickly reducing its conventional power capacities, risking a lack of secure capacity by 2023 at the latest, says the energy industry association BDEW in an analysis of the country’s power plants. Germany currently has power overcapacities. The government must quickly create the conditions needed to guarantee sufficient secure capacity or flexibility in the 2030s, complete with a new market design, BDEW says. To ensure that the 2030 climate targets are met, the government must improve the regulatory framework for combined heat and power (CHP), energy storage, new gas-fired power stations, and grid expansion, and ensure planning security for investors, said BDEW head Stefan Kapferer. “Additional coal-fired power stations can only be taken off the grid in the 2020s if low-CO₂ replacement capacities are created,” said Kapferer. New gas plants are not built overnight, he noted. “2023 starts today.”
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.
Germany’s new environment minister, Svenja Schulze, has indicated support for a national price on carbon emissions. “I find the idea very plausible,” the Social Democrat told the daily energy and climate newsletter Tagesspiegel Background. She said that a carbon price model needed to be “socially innovative” to ease the burden on poorer households. Schulze also said that, in her view, hardware retrofits for older diesel cars were “the only realistic measure to avoid driving bans” in several German cities struggling to meet current emissions limits.
Find the interview on the Tagesspiegel website in German here.
For more on the CO2 price read CLEW's article German environment minister open to national carbon price.
Radical changes in global energy supply require a “change of historical dimensions” in Germany’s climate and energy policy, comparable to the social welfare policies of Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of the German Empire between 1871 and 1890, write Patrick Graichen, head of the Agora Energiewende* think tank, and Stefan Kapferer, head of the energy industry association BDEW, in a joint guest commentary in Handelsblatt. By the end of 2018, decision makers from all sectors must obtain reliable information on the government’s plans “to develop business models, make investments, and drive innovation,” they write. “If done correctly, the energy transition will become a major modernisation and investment programme […] for us and for the future generations.”
Find the guest commentary in German here.
*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.
Welt am Sonntag
Germany’s grand coalition government is considering ways to enable municipalities located near wind farms to share in the profits of the turbines, reports Daniel Wetzel in Welt am Sonntag. The economy ministry has invited experts to discuss several options this week, including a levy on using wind power that operators should pay to local governments, much like an oil production levy, writes Wetzel. In their coalition treaty, the CDU, CSU, and SPD had agreed to introduce a federal regulation that would let municipalities near renewables installations have a share in the latter’s profits.
Find an online version of the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW news digest piece Municipalities near wind farms should receive ’wind levy‘ to secure acceptance of further expansion – think tank, and the factsheet Climate, energy and transport in Germany's coalition treaty.
German car manufacturer Volkswagen has unveiled its fully electric super sports car, the I.D. R Pikes Peak. The car can accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 2.25 seconds, which is faster than Formula 1 and Formula E cars, writes Volkswagen in a press release.
Find the VW press release in English here.
European Environment Agency
Efforts to improve the fuel efficiency of new cars sold in the European Union (EU) stalled in 2017 compared to 2016, according to provisional data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). At 118.5 grammes (g) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre (g CO₂/km), new passenger cars registered in 2017 emitted on average 0.4 g CO₂/km more than in 2016. German average new car CO₂ emissions are among the highest in the EU at 127.1 g CO₂/km, according to the data.
Find the press release in English here.
Read more on this topic in the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy.