04 Jan 2018, 00:00
Julian Wettengel

Low demand for e-car subsidy/ Opposition to major power lines persists

Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) / Die Welt

The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) has received 46,897 applications for the e-car buyer’s premium since its official launch in 2016, according to a BAFA press release. A total of 21,616 applications came from private buyers. BAFA President Andreas Obersteller told Die Welt that so far only about 65 million euros had been used of the total 600 million euros available for the programme, which runs until 2019. Part of the unused budget could be used to finance the expansion of much-needed private charging points for electric cars, said Obersteller.

Read the press release in German here and the article in Die Welt in German here.

Read a CLEW article on the introduction of the premium here.

Zeit Online

The government should use the unused part of the e-car buyer’s premium budget to finance the expansion of much-needed private charging points for electric cars, and thus heed the proposal put forth by Andreas Obersteller, president of the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA), writes Matthias Breitinger in an opinion piece for Zeit Online. So far, the government has only supported public charging stations, writes Breitinger. “For private citizens in city centres, the purchase of an electric car will only become attractive when they can charge the car in their own home at any time – comfortably, just like their mobile phone.”

Read the opinion piece in German here.

Read a CLEW article on the introduction of the premium here.

Munich RE

Natural catastrophes like hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will cost the insurance industry a record amount of 135 billion US dollars in 2017, according to a review by German reinsurance company Munich RE. This meant that less than half of the overall losses of 330 billion US dollars were insured. Some of the catastrophic events had given the world “a foretaste of what is to come”, said Torsten Jeworrek, Munich Re Board member responsible for global reinsurance business. “Because even though individual events cannot be directly traced to climate change, our experts expect such extreme weather to occur more often in the future.”

Find the press release in English here.

Read the CLEW factsheet Climate finance: A brief overview of Germany’s contributions for background.

Zeit Online

The decision to lay Germany’s planned major high-voltage power transmission lines SüdLink and SüdOstLink predominantly below ground has done little to calm resistance to both projects, writes Laura Cwiertnia for Zeit Online. Farmers worry that their soil would heat up, landowners fear the depreciation of their properties, and conservationists warn against the destruction of ecosystems, says Cwiertnia. A new study drafted by the Rhineland-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI Essen), seen by Zeit Online, shows that it can be counterproductive to offer compensation payments to local residents, as such offers increased mistrust. The study is scheduled for publication at the end of January.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.

Read CLEW’s factsheet Set-up and challenges of Germany's power grid for background.


Until now, there has not been a “reasonable concept for the Energiewende”, which is needed to secure Germany’s economic strength and make it more climate-friendly, Rudolf Staudigl, president and CEO of German chemical company Wacker Chemie AG, told Handelsblatt in an interview. Staudigl called for a tax-financed transition to a renewables and natural gas-based energy supply, which he said should replace the current levy-based system, in which electricity consumers shoulder the largest cost burden. The Energiewende is a “societal consensus” in Germany, so the state must shoulder its costs, said Staudigl.

Read the interview (behind paywall) in German here.

Also read CLEW’s factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future.

bizz energy

Consultancy Ernst & Young (EY) is developing an Energiewende Digitalisation Barometer for the German economy ministry, which will provide an annual assessment of the progress of the digital transformation of the energy system, reports Christian Schaudwet for bizz energy. The first barometer is scheduled to be drawn up in autumn 2018.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The digitalisation of the Energiewende.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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