How to reach 65 percent renewables / Strong demand for e-cargo bikes
Germany can reach its target of increasing the share of renewable energy to 65 percent of power consumption by 2030 from the current 36 percent at moderate costs, according to energy think tank Agora Energiewende*. Agora proposes a series of measures to modernise power grids so they can absorb additional renewable electricity over the next 12 years. Agora says that renewables prices continue to drop, and that many ageing renewable facilities will no longer be remunerated by the country’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) after 20 years.
For background, read the CLEW article Germany's coalition negotiators agree treaty, promise coal exit date and the dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.
*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.
In his final speech in the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament in Kiel on Thursday, Robert Habeck, former state environment minister and current Green Party co-chair, praised the positive economic impact of Germany’s energy transition. “It is a contribution to the economic and political situation in the country,” he said, adding that it wasn’t just the country’s west coast that was benefitting from the Energiewende. "The power grid expansion is actually progressing," Habeck added, pointing out that two-thirds of the planned routes have been approved or are under construction, and a third was already completed. Habeck is moving to Berlin, where he will focus on his duties as party leader in the German capital.
Read the article in German here.
Daimler is under pressure from German transport minister Andreas Scheuer to complete the recall and upgrade of 774,000 diesel vehicles that the government has found to have illegal emissions test defeat devices, Markus Fasse, Franz Hubik and Thomas Tuma write in Handelsblatt. The carmaker is struggling with the development of the necessary software updates, which may not be ready until the end of the year. While the company says it is doing everything it can to get the updates done as quickly as possible, the new applications still have to be accepted and approved by authorities.
Read the article in German here (behind paywall).
For background, read the factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.
While electric cars continue to face low sales despite government incentives, state premiums in Berlin for electric cargo bicycles triggered a flood of applications, Spiegel Online reports. The unexpected high demand for the increasingly popular utility bikes – more than 1,000 applications – depleted the 90,000-euro-budget allocated for individual users after a single day, according to Berlin’s Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. The state government slated a total 200,000 euros for the program this year and is reviewing whether funds are still available for companies and community groups.
The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and WWF Germany have developed a new online platform that assesses the climate impact of financial regulations in Germany and the EU. The Finance Fit for Paris tracker reviews laws and current measures to determine whether they are in accordance with the Paris Climate Change Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. "Green finance is still thought of as a niche,” says Matthias Kopp, head of sustainable finance at WWF Germany. “It is essential to make the entire financial system green in order to keep it stable against new risks, but also to ensure its contribution to national and international climate targets.”
Read the press release here.
German transport minister Andreas Scheuer is pushing ahead with the expansion of hydrogen fuelling stations, continuing a strategy that is not only wrong but one that also distracts from the failure of the electric car in Germany, Benedikt Becker and Martin Seiwert write in WirtschaftsWoche. They argue that batteries are the car drives of the future, and point to the fact that US carmaker Tesla is building 5,000 Model 3 units a week. Scheuer, however, is calling for an increase in the number of hydrogen fuelling stations in the country from the current 43 to 100 by 2020, and in doing so is creating a diversion from the fact that Germany is failing when it comes to electric cars.