Germany still has a long way to go before “the aim of a post-fossil society” is reached, Klaus Stratmann writes in Handelsblatt. “The share of renewables in primary energy consumptions so far stands at only 14 percent,” he explains. The 30 percent share of renewables in the power sector is “remarkably high”, but transportation, industry, agriculture, and housing continue to emit enormous amounts of CO2, he writes. Consequently, a further substantial rise in renewable power supply and sector coupling needs to be implemented. “This implies the electrification of all areas of life. A gigantic project.” Reducing prices for green power, garnering acceptance for further renewables expansion, and dealing with the fossil legacy are all tasks for Germany’s next government, he adds.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change and the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.
Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
The German Energiewende is "no project for the distant future", but has already been successfully put into action over the past years, writes the federal government in the new brochure “The Energiewende: our success story”. The 20-page booklet – delivered with today’s newspapers – lists and explains several reasons why the country’s generational project was already a success, such as: “…because it is sustainable and safe”, “…because it is affordable and plannable” and “…because it is efficient”. In the brochure, the federal government takes a positive look back on its policy actions during the current legislative period that will end with the federal elections in September.
Find the brochure in German here.
For background read the CLEW article German energy minister to change office, takes stock of policies.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The Paris Climate Agreement is unlikely to be the right way to reach the goal of limiting global warming, according to the federal economy ministry’s independent academic advisory board, writes Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). In a not-yet published opinion, seen by FAZ, the scholars call the agreement “a patchwork of voluntary commitments […] defined for the distant future” and with “questionable enforceability”. Instead, the authors propose that a “coalition of the willing”, for instance the G20 member states, should agree on and push for the global introduction of a floor price for CO₂ emissions, writes Mihm. Germany’s G20 presidency offered the right opportunities.
For background read the CLEW article Experts call for CO2 price to retain Energiewende’s credibility.
German financial services company Allianz and Japanese financial group MUFG invested in the 225 megawatt US wind park “Great Western”, expanding its renewables portfolio, the company announced in a press release. “It is a valuable addition to our renewable energy portfolio, which now exceeds 3.5 billion euros and offers a stable and uncorrelated return to Allianz,” said David Jones, Head of Renewables at Allianz Capital Partners. Allianz has invested in a total of 74 wind farms and seven solar parks located in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States.
Read the press release in English here.
German utility RWE warns of structural breaks in the Rhenish lignite mining area in western Germany if the government decides on an early coal-exit date, writes Carsten Sommerfeld in Neuss-Grevenbroicher Zeitung. “We need time for structural adaptation. We know how long this process took in the Ruhr area,” said Eberhard Uhlig, head of lignite operations at RWE Power at an event in the Frimmersdorf power station. RWE wanted to continue to be a “reliable partner” for communities and the region in general, writes Sommerfeld.
Find the article in German here.
For more information, see the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?
German premium car manufacturer Daimler faces possibly the greatest change in its history, Max Hägler and Stefan Mayr write in Süddeutsche Zeitung. With 30 billion euros in investments within the next two years, Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche seems determined “to turn the company with its 282,000 employees inside out”, the authors write. A new Daimler division called “CASE” – which stands for Connectivity, Autonomy, Shared driving, and E-mobility - epitomises this endeavour, Hägler and Mayr explain. “Each one of these topics has the potential to roll up our industry,” Zetsche said. Daimler not only wants to offer ten different e-cars under its brand EQ by 2025, it also invests in autonomous driving, long-distance coaches, car sharing, drone delivery, public transportation apps and more, Hägler and Mayr write. Asked when any of these investments would yield a profit, Zetsche admitted he was not “in a position to give a reliable answer to that”.
Read the article in German here.
For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers and the CLEW factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The introduction of auctions for new wind power projects off the German coast will lead to a significant fall in costs for the industry, Andreas Mihm and Hemut Bünder write in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Foreign companies – as well as major German energy providers - are eager to take part in the tender processes, making an underbidding of the maximum feed-in tariff of 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) highly likely, the authors say. While German energy companies innogy and E.ON said they would not try to win tenders at any cost, Sweden’s Vattenfall won an earlier tender in the Netherlands with an offer of 4.99 cents per kWh, Mihm and Bünder explain. Martin Neubert, from Danish competitor Dong, said prices in German auctions are not expected to fall as much because authorities required more investment components.
For more information, see the CLEW dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act.
German energy company innogy has teamed up with technology company Kiwigrid to develop a new platform for organising a decentralised power supply system, innogy said in a press release. “Centralised power plants are a thing of the past,” innogy writes, arguing that today’s “more than 1.3 million large and small renewable energy systems and remote storage units” required an intelligent control system that optimises supply and consumption. innogy, itself a green energy spin-off of utility RWE, said Kiwigrid’s software allowed for real-time monitoring and control of PV systems, heat pumps, storage units, or e-car charging stations. This allowed customers “to control their energy consumption efficiently and save money by selling self-generated electricity”.
Read the press release in English here.
For more information, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.
Germany is a reluctant global leader but persistently works on providing assistance to developing countries, not least in the energy sector, Catherine Cheney writes on international development website devex.com. Effective development assistance must be based on good cooperation, meaning that “it's more Made with Germany, and less Made in Germany”, Chris Meyer Zu Natrup, managing director at development association MzN International, said. The country’s experience with the Energiewende means staff members of Germany`s central development organisation GIZ were “highly sought after around the world for expertise on energy”, Cheney writes. Germany’s G20 leadership and the COP23 in Bonn add to its importance on the global climate protection stage in 2017, she explains. In times of mounting nationalism across the Western world, “this country that has remade itself three times in 100 years” needs to be watched closely in the near future, Cheney adds.
Read the article in English here.
For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and its implications for international security.