Federal Environment Ministry
Environmentally friendly technologies have become an important pillar of the German economy, the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) says in a press release. According to the environment ministry’s new “GreenTech Atlas,” the sector accounted for 15 percent of Germany’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 and will increase its share to 19 percent by 2025. “GreenTech Made in Germany is increasingly turning into a modernisation boost for our economy,” said environment minister Svenja Schulze. German GreenTech companies have a 14 percent share of the global market for environmental technologies and efficiency, and employ 1.5 million people, according to the 200-page report authored by business consultancy Roland Berger.
Find the press release in German here.
See the CLEW article German industry says protecting climate can benefit economy for background.
German industry conglomerate Siemens and logistics company DB Schenker are among a group of prominent European companies calling for stricter EU emission limits for trucks and lorries, reports Markus Becker on Spiegel Online. In a letter addressed to commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and other EU commissioners, the companies call on the EU to redouble its climate protection efforts by addressing the transport sector, which they call “Europe’s largest climate problem.” The companies say new EU emission rules currently in preparation should specify that large trucks must lower their fuel consumption by 24 percent by 2025. European carmaker association ACEA has proposed to lower consumption by seven percent by that date, according to the article. The company letter is due to be sent on 18 April, and other signatories include Swedish furniture maker Ikea, Swiss food giant Nestle, British-Dutch consumer goods specialist Unilever, and French supermarket chain Carrefour.
Read the article in German here.
See the CLEW article Economy minister Altmaier calls for mobility transition push for more information.
The new German government sticks to the target of bringing one million electric cars onto the roads by 2020. In a reply to a parliamentary enquiry by the Green Party, the government says both industry and government will have to continue their efforts, and adjust them if needed, to be successful. At the start of the year, 98,280 electric cars were registered in Germany. The government also said it is confident that the production of battery cells can be established in Germany.
In a setback for the German government, the automobile industry, and the European Union, the continent’s largest car supplier Bosch announced earlier this year it would not enter cell production, leaving the dominance of Asian suppliers unchallenged.
Read the government’s reply in German here.
Reuters / VW / Electrive
Volkswagen has chosen Herbert Diess as its new CEO, ousting predecessor Matthias Müller. “Müller’s replacement with VW brand chief Diess follows slow progress in reorganizing the group’s car brands, a key pillar of “Strategy 2025” to transform Germany’s biggest car company into a leader in cleaner cars and to move on from its diesel emissions scandal of 2015,” writes Andreas Cremer in a Reuters report.
Analysts welcomed the appointment of Diess, a former BMW executive who has more than doubled profitability at the VW brand since taking charge in 2015, as a “man of action,” according to the Reuters article. Peter Schwierz writes on the e-mobility website electrive that Diess gave electrification a big push at VW. The fact that Diess was also put in charge of research and development might indicate he wants to be in control of electrification and digitalisation, according to Schwierz.
Read the Reuters report in English here.
Read the VW press release in English here.
Read the electrive article in German here.
Find plenty of background in the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution and the factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.
German technology company Bosch and utility EnBW have opened a new large battery storage facility that helps stabilise the power grid, Bosch says in a press release. The battery consists of 768 lithium-ion modules that can provide energy quickly and help balance intermittent power supply from wind and solar installations, the article says. “It’s the first time that such a storage facility is integrated into a large power plant’s control technology,” the company says. The storage facility has a maximum power output of 5 megawatt (MW) and a storage capacity of 5 megawatt hours (MWh).
Read the press release in German here.
See the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid for background.
The German Green Party’s first fundamental policy statement in 16 years heralds “a new stage” in the ecologic-liberal party, Cordula Ebel writes in the Tagesspiegel. The party will use a convention to start working on the paper, which is scheduled for release in 2020 and supposed to bring the Greens “a new resoluteness” in addressing its core policy areas, party leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck say in a discussion paper seen by the newspaper. Environmental problems today are “much more radical” than at the time of the party’s last statement and require broad public action, Habeck says. The party is also reviewing earlier positions, such as its staunch opposition to genetic engineering in agriculture, which could help to feed people in regions where climate change has made food production more difficult, Ebel writes.
Read the article in German here.
See the CLEW factsheet on German parties’ climate and energy positions for background.
Successful and resolute climate action has a mixed record among European countries, but former trailblazer Germany today is known for trailing behind, Joachim Wille writes in the Frankfurter Rundschau. “There are still EU countries that take climate action seriously,” Wille says, citing Portugal, which recently covered 100 percent of its power production with renewables, France, which is pushing for a CO2 tax, or Britain and the Netherlands, both of which are actively working towards an end to coal-fired power production. By contrast, Germany has effectively scrapped its 2020 climate target and will postpone its next climate action touchstone to 2030, he writes. Others, such as Poland, say they will cling to coal for some time to come. “This disparate situation is part of the explanation as to why the EU as a whole is not on track for the Paris Climate Agreement,” he writes.
See the CLEW dossier The next German government and the energy transition for more information.