11 Jun 2018
Sven Egenter Julian Wettengel

Govt report to confirm climate goal miss / EnBW offshore wind in US

Clean Energy Wire

The government’s Climate Protection Report 2017 will confirm that Germany is set to miss its 2020 national climate target by a wide margin. A draft, seen by the Clean Energy Wire, says that the country will only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent compared to 1990, instead of the 40 percent aimed for. An internal paper of the environment ministry from October 2017 had already warned that Germany would only achieve 31.7 to 32.5 percent. In 2014, the government had initiated a "Climate Action Programme". The programme's measures, however, were not enough to close the gap to the 2020 goal, due to “the unexpected dynamic economic development and the unexpected significant population growth”, writes the government in the upcoming report. The government is now working on a programme for 2030 target, based on Germany Climate Action Plan 2050, says the draft. Green Party co-head Annalena Baerbock told the Clean Energy Wire that the report "documents the political standstill" of the governing grand coalition, and called on the new coal exit commission to initiate the quick shutdown of coal power plants. The report is set to be decided by the cabinet on Wednesday, 13 June.

For background, read the CLEW article Germany set to widely miss climate targets, env ministry warns.

Clean Energy Wire

German utility EnBW is expanding into the North American market for offshore wind, forming a joint venture with Trident Winds to develop a project off the coast of Central California, the German company said on Monday. EnBW North America and Seattle-based Trident Winds will advance the 650–1,000 megawatt “Morro Bay” project with a grid connection in Morro Bay, said EnBW, which is majority-owned by the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. The project will be the region’s first large-scale floating offshore wind farm, a technology which EnBW says will be the future of offshore because it opens new areas with greater water depth and better wind conditions. EnBW already operates 336 megawatts in offshore capacity, has 610 megawatts under construction and an additional 900 megawatts under development. Germany’s large utilities have struggled to reorganise their business amid the country’s ambitious push to phase out nuclear power generation and cut back carbon emissions by boosting renewable energy. Former main domestic rivals E.ON and RWE have drastically revamped their company structures and entered a complex deal to reshape the German energy market, while EnBW has firmly bet on renewables. The group said earlier this year that 2017 marked a turnaround on profitability, and posted another rise in operating profits in the first quarter 2018.

Find the EnBW press release here and get background on how Germany’s battered utilities take on start-ups in innovation race and Germany’s offshore wind industry in the CLEW dossiers.

ARD / Germanwatch

Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his support for the joint communiqué at the G7 summit in Canada is “sobering and a bit depressing”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Anne Will in a television interview for German public broadcaster ARD. Merkel said that using the term ‘sobering’ is “already a lot for me”. According to the chancellor, the communiqué is “decided and legally valid”.

In a separate press statement, the NGO Germanwatch welcomed that the “fundamental differences” on climate policy between the US and the other governments had not been “glossed over by formulaic compromise”. “While the US president increasingly makes clear that he wants to organise the last defensive battle for fossil energies worldwide, the other G6 countered fairly determinedly,” said policy director Christoph Bals.

Watch the interview in German here and find the press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW news piece Germany seeks joint communiqué at G7, also on climate - official and Merkel calls for honouring Paris Agreement as climate action at home falters as well as the factsheet The story of "Climate Chancellor" Angela Merkel.

dpa / Focus Online

Matthias Miersch, deputy leader of the Social Democratic (SPD) group in the German parliament, reiterated his party’s call for additional renewables auctions – as foreseen in the coalition treaty – in an upcoming reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), reports news agency dpa in an article carried by Focus Online. “Should the CDU/CSU block these with new demands, then minister Altmaier can forget his 100-day-act,” said Miersch. After several weeks of postponing a more far reaching reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), due to the dispute about additional auctions, Germany last week only made fixes to the rules for onshore wind tenders. These are designed to ensure commercial projects posing as citizens’ initiatives don’t dominate the next rounds of auctions.

In a separate article for energate messenger, Steven Hanke reports that the conservative CDU/CSU is now proposing technology-neutral tenders for the planned additional auctions.

Read the dpa article in German here and the energate article in German here.

Read CLEW dossiers on onshore wind power here and on the EEG here.

Eurostat / Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Household power prices in Germany were the EU's highest in the second half of 2017, according to eurostat. Germans paid an average of 30.5 cents per kilowatt hour, followed by Denmark with 30.1 cents per kilowatt hour. The prices reflected that the development of the power grid is not keeping up with renewables expansion, said Carsten Linnemann, federal parliament member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), writes Andreas Mihm in an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Energy industry association BDEW head Stefan Kapferer said that the European comparison showed that Germany needs to reform its energy tax and levy system, writes Mihm.

Find the press release in English here and the FAZ article (behind paywall) in German here.

For background, read the updated CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power.


Germany is in fourth place in the European Union energy efficiency ranking ODYSSEE-MURE, behind the UK, Ireland and Spain. The ranking scores EU countries on different energy efficiency criteria, such as energy efficiency level, energy efficiency progress and energy efficiency policies. “For us to become the world champion in energy efficiency and remain that in the long term, ‘efficiency first’ must be transformed from a mere slogan to a sector-spanning basis of action in energy policy,” said Christian Noll, chairman of the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF).

Find the ranking in English here and the DENEFF press release in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency for background.

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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Kerstine Appunn

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