Govts pledge carbon trading cooperation / Voter coalition preferences
International Carbon Action Partnership
The governments of Germany, Mexico, South Korea, California and several other countries and sub-national entities have pledged to intensify their cooperation on developing international carbon emissions trading, the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) has said in a press release. In a joint statement, the governing bodies send “a clear signal that cities, states and provinces around the world are ready and able to work with national governments to provide climate leadership,” the press release says. German environment minister Barbara Hendricks said with a reform of global Emissions Trading Systems (ETS), “carbon pricing looks set to fulfil its promise in cost-efficiently delivering ambitious emissions cuts for the post-Paris era.”
Find the joint statement in English here.
See the CLEW factsheet Understanding the EU’s ETS for background.
ARD / infratest dimap
Ahead of the general elections on 24 September, German voters increasingly favour a possible government coalition of conservatives (CDU/CSU) and the economically liberal FDP, while the popularity of the current alternative of a grand coalition (CDU/CSU-SPD) is declining, says a new survey by pollster infratest dimap, commissioned by public broadcaster ARD. 43 percent of respondents said they thought a CDU/CSU-FDP coalition would be good or very good (36 percent in April 2017), while 44 percent thought the same about the grand coalition (51 percent in April). A coalition of conservatives and Greens is rated positively by 32 percent of respondents, a coalition of CDU/CSU-Greens and FDP by 27 percent.
Find the survey results in German here.
For background on the September general elections, read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Parties will discuss ways to “stabilise” Germany’s renewables levy in the coalition talks following the general elections on 24 September, Chief of the Chancellery Peter Altmaier told Andreas Mihm in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. If the support for renewable power facilities, including for instance new offshore parks that have not yet been built, were financed just via the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) surcharge, the levy would “continue to rise significantly. It would be wise to think about ways to prevent this from happening,” said Altmaier. Several “different solution models” were discussed by experts, but he did not want to “publicly speculate on these.” Only one approach is not acceptable, he said: “Solving the problem through higher state debt. We have consolidated the budget and avoided new debt. It’s supposed to stay this way."
Read the interview in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future.
Car sharing in Germany will experience a push after a new law comes into force on 1 September, writes Michael Kuntz in an opinion piece in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Among other things, the regulation makes it easier for states, cities and municipalities to designate public space as car sharing parking, until now a “costly legal process.” “Now we will see if the federal government’s political will to use public street space more efficiently also exists in each case at the local level. It is high time,” writes Kuntz.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
There are still many technical, political and financial hurdles on the path to fully electric road transport, and its final development is much less clear, writes Handelsblatt. Handelsblatt lists “seven inconvenient truths,” such as “e-cars are only as environmentally-friendly as the electricity that feeds them,” “e-cars are competitive only thanks to state regulation” and “the revolution in battery technology will not take place for the time being.”
Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For background, read the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany.
The current mood in Germany’s wind power industry is “miserable,” but just like the solar power industry before, the companies are victims of a crisis of their own making, Franz Hubik writes in an opinion piece for Handelsblatt Online. Annual wind power expansion in Germany might fall by a whopping 76 percent to 1,100 megawatts by 2019 in the worst-case scenario, which most industry actors blame on ill-advised policy in the form of renewables auctions, Hubik writes. “But the industry edits out its own failure completely,” he argues. The last few years have seen a record-level of wind power expansion in the country, exceeding all government projections and bringing the industry remarkable profits, but it should have been clear that the boom which was partly fuelled by millions of euros of support via the renewables surcharge would come to an end one day, Hubik says. Wind power companies failed to sufficiently invest in research and international markets and should start to do so rather than spending their resources on political lobbying, he argues.
Find the commentary in German here (behind paywall).
See the CLEW dossier Onshore wind power in Germany for more information.
All the talk about the usability and range of electric cars omits one aspect that is crucial in Germany: the widespread absence of speed limits, Marcus Rohwetter writes in an op-ed for weekly newspaper Die Zeit. “Whoever wants to help e-cars to have a breakthrough in this country cannot ignore this,” Rohwetter says, arguing that speed limits could do a lot more to facilitate the switch to low-emissions vehicles than quotas or bans. “Lower speed leads to a greater range,” he argues, conceding that this might still turn out to be a veritable problem “in the land of speed merchants.”
German Solar Industry Association
Solar power generation can play an important role in securing Afghanistan’s future energy supply, the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) says in a press release. Together with the Afghanistan Renewable Energy Union (AREU), the BSW studied the war-stricken Central Asian country’s potential for developing a profitable solar power market and for achieving the Afghan government’s aim of installing at least 1.5 gigawatts of solar power capacity by 2032. “The potential can be gradually exploited over the next couple of years. Security constraints have to be considered by all means, but they do not prevent doing business in this market,” says BSW CEO Jörg Mayer.