“German environment agency takes aim at auto sector over climate change”
The German Environment Agency (UBA) has called on the German transport sector to step up efforts to combat climate change, Caroline Copley reports for Reuters. The UBA blamed an increase in freight transport and a trend towards more powerful, heavier cars for a rise in emissions. The UBA said that transport, which accounts for almost a fifth of Germany's overall greenhouse emissions, is the only sector that has not managed to reduce its emissions compared to 1990, Copley writes.
Read the Reuters story here.
UBA is right to call for restrictions
The UBA’s analysis of rising carbon emissions from the transport sector is no surprise, writes Jan Heidtmann in a commentary for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Car manufacturers have agreed to a type of “pact” with customers by offering large cars with efficient motors, allowing drivers to be “unreasonable” in the most reasonable way. Therefore the UBA is right to call for action in order to reduce emissions from cars, Heidtmann concludes.
Read the commentary in German here.
“We should ostracise SUVs”
The Energiewende is increasingly becoming a “schizophrenic” project, writes Uwe Dankert, head of an energy and environment consultancy, in a contribution for Cicero online. While power production from renewables is rising, car makers continue to produce vehicles such as SUVs with high CO2 emissions, he says.
Read the full article in German here.
Friends of the Earth and others
NGO alliance presents air traffic concept and calls for obligatory climate levy
A group of environmental NGOs, including Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and Green Budget Germany (FÖS), is calling for a climate levy for airplanes as part of the government’s new concept for air traffic. Germany already has too many airports, so rather than extending capacity, the six main hubs should cooperate with regional airports and the German rail. The NGOs listed 200,000 flights that could be covered by the rail system, without delays for customers and without new investment.
Read the full press release in German here.
New wind power plant in Germany
Siemens is investing around €200 million to build its first production facility for offshore wind turbine components in Germany. The factory plans to manufacture nacelles for the company's next-generation wind turbines. The new factory in Cuxhaven will be one of Siemens' most significant new production facilities in Germany in recent years and will create up to 1,000 new jobs. The groundbreaking is scheduled to take place later this year, with production of the first components to begin in mid-2017.
Read the full press release in English here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Government shuts escape route for nuclear companies”
The German government plans to change company laws in order to prevent firms from ridding themselves of the legacy costs of nuclear power by splitting off parts of the business, Andreas Mihm reports for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The legal requirement of the four utilities running nuclear plants in Germany to pay for the decommissioning, as part of the nuclear phase-out, was clear. But the government was worried that the companies did not have the financial resources to pay, Mihm writes. E.ON’s decision to split off its conventional power plants had created new risks, Mihm writes. The government also wants to involve opposition parties in the new commission looking into securing the finances for the nuclear phase-out.
In a separate commentary, Mihm says getting all parties involved in dealing with the cost of the nuclear exit was good, as the political decisions of the Energiewende were part of the reason why the companies’ conventional power plants had lost value, putting the reserves for decommissioning at risk.
Read the full article in German here.
PV and wind power record in July
In July, solar and wind power installations produced more electricity than ever before PV Magazine reports, citing an analysis of the Fraunhofer ISE research institute. For the first time ever, all solar installations generated as much electricity as nuclear power stations, the magazine writes. The reason was partly due to the number of sunny hours, partly due to the shut-down of the Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant and revisions in other plants.
Read the article in German here.
“More private households use renewable energy”
An increasing share of the energy needs in German private households is covered through renewable energy, the RWI research institute found in an analysis based on 8,500 households. In 2013, nearly 13 percent of household energy use was covered by renewables. At the beginning of 2014, nearly 11 percent of all households used solar collectors, almost twice the share recorded in 2006, the RWI said. Nearly seven percent had a PV installation, up from 2.1 percent in 2006.
Poorer households had to pay a higher share of their income for electricity than wealthier ones, the RWI said. Those in the second-lowest income category with a monthly income between 700 and 1,200 euros paid about 5.3 percent of their income for power. The share of electricity costs was only 1.6 percent for those with an income between 5,200 and 5,700 euros, the institute said.
Read the press release in German here.
Find the full report in German here.