15 Aug 2016, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Edgar Meza

Lack in e-car charging stations / Utilities 'disadvantage renewables'


While German automakers are eager to invest billions in electric vehicle production, the deployment of charging stations is lagging, Jürgen Flauger and Daniel Delhaes write in Handelsblatt. The carmakers are hurrying to catch up to U.S. rival Tesla Motors, with Volkswagen aiming to sell three million e-cars by 2025, Daimler planning an electric vehicle brand and e-mobility also a top priority at BMW. While the number of e-cars rose by 90 percent in 2015, the number of charging stations increased by only 5 percent, the article says. Initial plans called for around 70,000 charging stations installed by 2020, but only 6,000 had been installed by the end of 2015.

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).

Find more background on the Energiewende in transportation in a CLEW dossier here.


Renewable energy generation in Germany is being disadvantaged by the practice of leading utilities RWE, E.ON and Vattenfall of selling electricity well into the future, Germany’s Internationales Wirtschaftsforum Regenerative Energien (IWR) reports. By doing so, utilities can earn higher prices than current market levels and enjoy greater planning security, but the practice also impacts grid capacity and puts renewable energy at a disadvantage. A Reuters report said Germany’s leading utilities have already sold most of their expected output for 2017 and 2018, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.

Die Welt

Until now, tenants in Germany had to pay the renewable energy surcharge of 6.35 cents per kilowatt-hour that finances the state-guaranteed price, or feed-in tariff, for producers of renewable energy even if the building they live in is installed with a photovoltaic system, Christian Hunziker writes in Die Welt. Homeowners who produce green energy, on the other hand, can be exempted from the levy. The latest amendment to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) could change that by next year, although the ministry for economic affairs has to first issue an ordinance approving the change. Berlin Mayor Michael Müller has described “tenant electricity” as “an important component in achieving the climate protection targets."

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on the reform of the Renewable Energy Act.


Half of Germany’s large enterprises (annual turnover of more than 500 million euros) made foreign investments of an average 125 million euros in 2014, the Foreign Investment Monitor by development bank KfW shows. Investment at home was at an average 135 million euros per company. “The main motivation to invest outside national borders is to expand, that is, to open up new markets,” the report says, with 87 percent of businesses attaching high or very high importance to this reason. 18 percent of businesses saw electricity costs as an important motivation for their 2015-2017 foreign investments; 39 percent named labour costs. The money invested abroad was primarily used to expand or modernise existing facilities; nine out of ten companies regarded it as complementary rather than a substitute for domestic investment. The main locations of foreign investment by German firms were in Europe, followed by Asia and North America.

Read the KfW monitor in English here.


Despite many setbacks, a number of achievements towards greater environmental protection in the past decade is cause for optimism, Achim Steiner, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, tells Bernhard Pötter in an interview with German newspaper taz. “Since the Paris Agreement we have a global climate policy, the G7 has agreed to end fossil fuels in the long term, the so-called decarbonisation. Then the Montreal Protocol, the most successful UN agreement ever, ensured that the ozone hole closed,” Steiner said. In addition, the UN has set 17 Sustainable Development Goals that have become mandatory by the countries that adopted them — “a breakthrough for greater sustainability that we did not expect,” Steiner added.

Read the article in German here.     

See a CLEW factsheet on Germany's climate targets and greenhouse gas emissions.


The European Commission is aiming to reform emissions trading but faces strong opposition from German industry and power companies, Klaus Stratmann writes in Handelsblatt. The cost of emission allowances have remained low for years and that’s something the European Commission is intent on changing. Energy intensive companies see the plans as a threat, however, and are seeking support from the German government. Angela Merkel’s coalition government has so far remained tight-lipped on the matter.

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).

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