Clean Energy Wire / Green Party
The German Green Party is determined to make climate protection and “ecologic modernisation” a central issue of their election campaign. “Climate and environment policy also are a question of fairness,” the Greens stated in a preliminary draft of the party’s election programme. “Prosperity is also about whether we drink clean water and breathe clean air,” the party’s chairman Cem Özdemir said at the draft’s presentation in Berlin, adding that ecology continued to be the Green’s core competency. The party is focused on “getting the Energiewende back on track, exiting coal and supporting the emissions-free car,” the election programme draft reads. The draft will now be debated within the party and a final version agreed at the federal party conference in June.
For background read the CLEW article from November German Greens to make coal exit, fossil car ban an election focus and the CLEW factsheet German elections ahead: The road to the next Energiewende government.
The Clean Energy Wire will publish a factsheet on the Green’s preliminary programme for September’s election later today.
Alternative for Germany (AfD)
The right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD) questions the scientific consensus that climate change is mainly caused by humans, wants the country to exit the Paris Climate Agreement and abolish the recently adopted Climate Action Plan 2050, according to the first draft of its campaign programme for the upcoming federal elections. Other provisions:
- the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) should be “cancelled without replacement”
- existing nuclear power stations should not go offline before the end of their “technical operating life”
- Germany should participate in international nuclear power research projects to “maintain nuclear expertise”
- “wind power is an energy policy aberration, economically absurd and ecologically counter-productive”
- e-mobility must develop within the market economy “like every technology”
- abolish environmental zones (in cities) as they “verifiably did not reduce particulate emissions”
For full background on the elections read the CLEW dossier Vote2017 - German elections and the Energiewende.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The federal government and Germany’s four nuclear power station operators have agreed on contract details for last year’s agreement on financing the nuclear clean-up, report Helmut Bünder and Manfred Schäfers for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The federal government made concessions, and is no longer demanding that the companies drop their lawsuits against the nuclear fuel tax, according to the newspaper. According to the agreement, the companies will pay 23.6 billion euros into a state-administered fund to finance interim and final storage of nuclear waste and decommissioning and dismantling nuclear plants.
Read the article in German here.
For background read the CLEW factsheet Securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up and Legal disputes over the nuclear phase-out.
Germany needs an upper limit for state-set levies and taxes that comprise large parts of the consumer electricity price, in order to relieve power consumers of rising costs, the state economy minister of North Rhine-Westphalia told Handelsblatt. “We have naturally accepted defining and reaching concrete climate change targets. Why shouldn’t we define a maximum limit for state-induced price components in the power price as a binding target,” said Garrelt Duin. Duin wants to freeze the levy consumers pay with their power bill to finance renewables development (EEG-surcharge) and pay the excess costs from a fund.
Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For additional reform proposals read the CLEW article Debate on financing renewables in new ways gathers pace in Germany.
G20 finance ministers may encourage private funding for climate change instead of government pledges, according to a draft statement for the upcoming G20 finance ministers meeting, writes Joe Ryan for Bloomberg. This was a significant shift from what finance ministers stated in a communiqué from 2016, in which they urged governments to quickly implement the Paris Agreement, writes Ryan. It was unclear which G20 members pushed for the new language, writes Ryan. The draft statement did include passages on climate change and “established a goal for G-20 nations to phase out fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by 2025,” writes Ryan.
Read the article in English here.
For background read the CLEW article IEA director calls on Germany to lead on climate during G20 presidency.
TenneT / The Local
The Local reports on plans by transmission system operators from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands to build a giant artificial island in the middle of the North Sea where wind farms would create power for 80 million people: the North Sea Wind Power Hub.
Germany’s image as a pioneer and enabler of renewable energy has suffered over the past years due to the diesel emissions scandal and the government’s reluctance to initiate a coal phase-out, writes Gregor Vulturius, research fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute in a guest commentary in Die Zeit. Vulturius calls for a clear commitment to the Energiewende “that is measurable in investments.”
An automatic control system that turned the blades out of the wind too late is likely responsible for severely damaging several wind turbines at various locations in northern Germany during storms in December 2016, reports Stefan Schultz for Spiegel Online. The system reacted too late and the wind overstrained the facilities.
Read the article in German here.