26 Sep 2017, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Benjamin Wehrmann

Markets mull Green govt impact on coal & cars / Giant battery

Süddeutsche Zeitung / Reuters

The prospect of a new government coalition in Germany that would include the Green Party resulted in a drop in utility RWE’s share price of more than five percent on Monday, making the energy company that operates many coal-fired power plants the biggest loser in the German stock index DAX on day one after Sunday’s elections, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. A so-called Jamaica-coalition, which bears the name due to the party colours of its potential members CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party, is seen as a threat to the German coal industry by shareholders due the Green Party’s aim to phase out coal fired power production in the country by 2030. Stock prices of renewable energy companies, such as wind power turbine manufacturer Nordex, were on the rise on Monday.
News agency Reuters reports that the Green’s aim of banning new cars with combustion engines by 2030 also put share prices of carmakers under pressure, with BMW and supplier Continental incurring minor losses of up to 0.4 percent. However, Reuters adds that the Greens' plans for the car industry are far less likely to be implemented than those for coal.

Read the Reuters article in English here.

See the CLEW article Weakened Merkel set to seek coalition talks with Greens, FDP and the factsheet German parties’ energy & climate policy positions for background.

Also see the CLEW dossier on Utilities and the energy transition for more information.

The Daily Telegraph

Energy and financial policy in Europe could be substantially affected by a government participation of the Green Party and the economic liberal FDP in the next German government under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative alliance of CDU/CSU, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard writes in The Telegraph. Especially the Greens’ insistence on phasing out coal-fired power production and internal combustion engines in cars puts affected companies under pressure in a potential ”Jamaica” coalition, he says. Merkel is facing a “daunting task” in reconciling the Greens’ positions with that of the FDP, which wants “to halt fresh subsidies for renewables and return to market discipline”, Evans-Pritchard says.

Read the article in English here.

See the CLEW article Weakened Merkel set to seek coalition talks with Greens, FDP and the factsheet German parties’ energy & climate policy positions for background.

Reuters Breakingviews

“Germany’s new electoral landscape promises upheaval for companies as well as politicians,” Olaf Storbeck writes in a commentary for Reuters Breakingviews. A possible new “Jamaica” coalition government including the conservative Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance, the economic liberal FDP and the Green Party “would be good news for Germany’s emission-reduction ambitions, but may hurt carbon-guzzling utilities and automakers,” if Green policy prevails in these fields, he argues.

Read the commentary in English here.

Heilbronner Stimme / Fraunhofer ICT

A large new battery capable of storing 20 megawatt hours of its integrated wind power turbine has started operating on the premises of the Fraunhofer ICT research institute near Karlsruhe, the Heilbronner Stimme reports. The so-called redox-flow-battery, which costs 19 million euros, can store enough power to supply a small village for ten hours, the article says.
In a press release, Fraunhofer ICT says “redox-flow batteries are efficient (>75%), safe, and have a longer service life than conventional batteries such as lithium ion.”

Read the article in German here and the press release in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future? for more information.

Climate protection enjoys widespread backing in Germany but when it comes down to the details of how it can be done, support often turns into resistance, Andreas Mihm writes for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s website “The past four years have shown that rejection of the Energiewende’s implementation" has increased the further the project advances,” Mihm says. Germany’s new government will have to factor this resistance into its energy policy of the next four years, he argues. “It will likely drop too ambitious reduction goals that cannot be met without swift and radical change”, thereby undermining the Energiewende’s legitimacy as a global vanguard project for decarbonising an advanced economy, Mihm writes.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change and the article Dieselgate and climate fears fail to ignite voters’ passion for background.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The EUREF-Campus in the German capital Berlin has become a showcase for efficient energy use, Michael Bauchmüller writes in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The campus combines existing technologies with a software that analyses weather data and regulates the use of renewable power capacities accordingly, Bauchmüller says. “We already fulfil the climate protection goals of 2050 here – for the cost of conventional energy use,” says Frank Mattat, manager at Berlin-based gas supplier Gasag. Researchers at the EUREF-Campus recently tested whether a decentralised on-site micro grid can cope with being cut off the city’s power grid by storing power stored in e-cars on the campus – and succeeded, Bauchmüller writes. EUREF founder Reinhard Müller says Germany’s Energiewende could already be much further advanced – “but we just leave the potential untapped."

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier Cities, municipalities, and the Energiewende for background.

Southern German utility EnBW has introduced a one-for-all charging card for e-cars that will enable its customers to use a network of 8,000 charging stations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, regardless of the operator of the station. E-car drivers would not have to cope with different payment schemes, prices and cards for different stations anymore, EnBW said in a press release. EnBW is currently negotiating with more charging station operators to further increase the network.

Read the press release in German here.

See the CLEW dossier on Utilities and the energy transition for more information.


Germany’s largest industrial manufacturer Siemens might soon end its advance into e-car engine production together with French supplier Valeo, Thomas Hanke and Axel Höpner write in Handelsblatt. By the end of 2021, Siemens might make use of a put option and sell its share to Valeo, the authors say. The joint project, Valeo Siemens eAutomotive, “does not bear as many synergies as predicted”, analysts say, according to the article.

Read the article in German here (behind paywall).

See the CLEW artilcle Frankfurt car show puts spotlight on German carmakers’ troubles for more information.

World Energy Council

The North Sea will be a key location for enabling the energy transition of riparian countries such as Germany, the UK and the Netherlands, a new report by the World Energy Council says. “We see a clear opportunity for the North Sea to become a key energy resource and support the energy transformation,” the authors say, arguing that the area will no longer be dominated by oil and gas production by 2050 and instead serve as a location for “substantial renewable production”, primarily due to the development of offshore wind power capacities. The authors estimate that transforming the North Sea’s energy production from fossil to renewable sources will “need a total investment of anywhere between of 390-690 billion euros in the coming decades.”

Read the study in English here.

See the CLEW article Operators to build offshore wind farms without support payments for more information.

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