13 Jul 2016
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Industry criticises Energiewende / EU ministers debate Energy Union

Die Welt

Germany's coalition government of Christian and Social Democrats has neglected topics important to German industry, writes Ulrich Grillo, president of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), in a guest commentary for Die Welt. Among other examples, Grillo says energy transition policy has unsettled some energy-intensive businesses. “Since the beginning of the millennium, there is a distinct measurable trend of divestment from energy-intensive sectors like steel or chemicals,” writes Grillo.

Read the guest commentary in German here.

For more information read the CLEW dossiers German industry and its competitive edge in times of the Energiewende and The energy transition's effect on jobs and business.

Südwest Presse

The high costs of Germany’s energy transition are damaging German industry's competitiveness with negative impacts on the clothing and textile sector, says Bodo Bölzle, president of textile industry association Südwesttextil, according to an article by Südwest Presse. “Electricity here is more expensive than in most other industrial nations, just because of the ever rising EEG [Renewable Energy Act]-surcharge,” said Bölzle. German textile associations founded the “Alliance for a fair Energiewende” which calls for the energy transition to be financed through national taxes, instead of the EEG-surcharge, which is paid by consumers. Currently, however, the order situation in the textile industry is stable and companies belonging to Südwesttextil saw an increase in sales of 1.2 percent in the first half of 2016, writes Südwest Presse.

Read the article in German here.

Find the position paper of the “Alliance for a fair Energiewende” in German here.

Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

EU energy ministers are attending an informal meeting in Bratislava this week to discuss steering and monitoring mechanisms for the European Energy Union, sustainable financing structures for low-carbon technologies, energy prices and energy supply security. Energy state secretary Rainer Baake who represents the German government said Europe needed to prove its capability to act and its reliability in the Energy Union project. The national energy and climate plans needed to include a European-wide monitoring of the progress made in reaching the Energy Union’s targets, including the 2030 climate targets, he said.

Read the press release of the ministry in German here.

Die Zeit

The approval of the sale of Vattenfall’s German lignite plants and mines to Czech utility EPH showed that Germany and Sweden were not willing to implement the Paris Climate Agreement, says Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in an interview with Die Zeit. “Germany and Sweden are seen as global leaders on climate protection, and they are rich. If these two countries don’t take the Climate Agreement seriously – who will?” Rockström asks. He proposes that Germany translate the Paris Agreement into national plans, for example setting deadlines to run steel production without coal, exit lignite, and abolish diesel cars.

Read the full interview in German here.

Find out more about the German positions on the Paris Climate Summit in this CLEW dossier.

manager magazin

Tesla CEO Elon Musk defended the company’s autopilot system after the German Federal Motor Transport Authority said it would not have approved the beta-phase of Tesla's autopilot, according to manager magazin. There was a “misunderstanding of what 'beta' means to Tesla for Autopilot” read a tweet by Musk. By declaring the software “beta”, Tesla meant the system had less than 1.6 billion kilometres of real-world driving.  “Use of word 'beta' is explicitly so that drivers don't get comfortable. It is not beta software in the standard sense,” wrote Musk on Twitter. European approval for the autopilot system was gained in the Netherlands.

Read the article in German here.


The new Renewable Energy Act (EEG) is disadvantaging operators of flexible power storage devices that can switch between supplying power to the grid and self-consumption, Photovoltaik magazine reports. Operators of such batteries must pay the renewables surcharge even on power they use for their own purposes. The German association for power storage (BVES) says this will keep such flexible operator models from being economically viable in the long-term.

Read the article in German here.

BioConsult SH, University of Bielefeld et al.

Researchers at BioConsult SH, ARSU, IfAÖ and University of Bielefeld have published a study on the effects of wind turbines on birds and how to lower the risk of collision. The question of whether protected bird species are threatened by wind turbines is important when granting permission for wind parks. For the first time, scientists looked at the actual number of collisions, finding that fewer birds of prey were killed by wind turbines than previously estimated. Most of the birds killed belonged to non-endangered species.

Download the study in German here.


In a long feature, author Mark Rowe reports on Germany's efforts to revolutionise its energy sector. However, the “colossal project” is not without its difficulties, Rowe writes. Even though renewable power production is on the rise, Germany is still the largest producer of lignite (brown coal) in the world.

Read the feature (for subscribers) here.

Umwelt- und Energie-Report

The government of Rhineland-Palatinate will join in a law suit attempting to block the re-opening of Belgian nuclear power plant Tihange, Umwelt- und Energie-Report reports. The region of Aachen launched legal proceedings against Tihange with the Belgian Council of State in February.

Read the article in German here.


To be able to avoid high re-dispatch costs for grid stabilisation, German researchers are testing a new system to better predict power generation of wind and solar PV parks, writes the science journal nature. With the research project EWeLiNE, Fraunhofer IWES, the national weather service Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) and grid operators want to combine weather forecasts with actual feed-in data and let the predictive models learn from comparing the forecast electricity generation with the actual production. In 2015, re-dispatch measures in Germany cost an estimated 500 million euros.

Read the article in English here.

Find more information on the project website in English here.

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