07 Mar 2018 | Benjamin Wehrmann

Govt backs buyers' premium for clean diesel/ Difficult renewables goal

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German Chancellery favours buyers‘ premium over diesel retrofitting

The German Chancellery and the transport ministry favour providing incentives to buy new and cleaner cars over retrofitting older diesel cars to comply with emissions limits in inner cities, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. According to sources close to the transport ministry, a “fleet renewal” is key to quickly achieving results in reducing air pollution and preventing diesel driving bans, the article says. The aim is to reportedly extend or even raise the buyers’ premium for replacing an old diesel car with a modern model. Germany’s designated transport minister Andreas Scheuer says the proposed blue badge for identifying clean diesel cars “is wrong and stands for driving bans”.

See what diesel driving bans would mean for Germany in CLEW’s Q&A.



Ramped up renewables expansion will aggravate existing Energiewende problems – opinion

Germany’s new coalition agreement means a visible increase in ambition for expanding renewable energy sources, Hubertus Bardt and Benjamin Tischler write in a guest commentary for Handelsblatt. However, “goals like these are easily made but hard to achieve”, they say. Germany’s last government coalition – which like the new one consisted of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) – understood that an expansion that is carried out too quickly costs billions. The coalition  therefore introduced expansion caps for renewables. “The new government just scraps this insight,” the authors say. The main problem so far has not been a sluggish growth of renewable power production, but “high costs, a lagging grid expansion and the insufficient orientation of renewables towards demand”, they argue. All of these problems will now be aggravated by ramping up expansion goals, which will make a reform of the renewables support scheme indispensable to avoid “substantial additional costs”.

Find the op-ed in German here (paywall).

See the CLEW interview with government energy policy advisor Löschel, with CDU energy politician Pfeiffer and with SPD energy politician Westphal for more information.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

VW head Müller says diesel will have a “renaissance” soon

Diesel engines will have “a renaissance in the foreseeable future” and shed its currently-tarnished image as a particularly polluting technology, VW head Michael Müller said at the important trade fair Geneva International Motor Show, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. Diesel engines are going to be needed to reach the EU’s CO2 emissions limits and the technology could be further improved, Müller argued.

See the CLEW factsheet Diesel driving bans in Germany – The Q & A  and the article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy for background.


Rheinische Post

Chancellery official Horstmann could replace Baake as state secretary for energy

The energy policy official of the German Chancellery, Winfried Horstmann, will likely succeed Rainer Baake as state secretary for energy in the economy ministry, the Rheinische Post reports. Horstmann is said to be “a capable civil servant who is unlikely to push a political agenda”, the article says. According to the newspaper, Baake resigned after the regional branch of the conservative CDU party from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) put pressure on the party to prevent the outspoken critic of coal-fired power production from serving another term under designated economy minister Peter Altmaier.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The next German government and the energy transition for more information.


Federal Network Agency

Germany starts second tender in 2018 for onshore wind power

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has started the second auction for onshore wind power in 2018. The tendered volume is about 670 megawatt and bids can be submitted until 1 May, the BNetzA says in a press release. The maximum support level is 6.3 cents per kilowatt hour. Contrary to earlier auctions in 2017, citizens’ energy cooperatives lose their privilege to submit bids without having obtained a construction license first.

Find the press release in German here.

Find background in the CLEW factsheet High hopes and concerns over onshore wind power auctions.


Renewable Energy Magazine

German homeowners want to use solar power to charge e-cars – survey

Most homeowners in Germany who consider buying an electric car want to charge it with power generated by a solar PV system mounted on their roof, Renewable Energy Magazine reports, based on a survey by EuPD Research. “A clear majority believes it is the utilities’ obligation to offer appropriate and specific tariffs,” the article says.

Read the article in English here.


Spiegel Online

Hotels and restaurants provide e-car charging infrastructure in lieu of the state

The lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is one of the main reasons why Germany’s initial goal to put one million e-cars on the road by 2020 will fail by a very wide margin, Dominik Reintjes writes on Spiegel Online. This problem “can at least partly be solved by hotels and restaurants”, he says. Currently, about ten percent of some 8,660 charging stations are located on their premises. According to a survey among hotel and restaurant owners, one out of five businesses already provides e-car charging stations and about one third plans on doing so in the future. By contrast, only one in ten existing charging stations in Germany can be found on a public road.

Read the article in German here.


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