“Carmakers must not end up like RWE and E.ON”
In an interview with business daily Handelsblatt, transport expert Anton Hofreiter - one of the Green party’s parliamentary leaders - argues that German carmakers stare in shock at the challenge of electro mobility, instead of taking the lead in this technology. “I worry a lot about Germany as a location for the car industry. VW, with its excellent engineers, could take a turn – but at the car show IAA, Toyota again was the most innovative. If the car companies don’t change their way of thinking, they might end up like RWE and E.ON,” Hofreiter says. He argues that carmakers repeat the mistakes of the utilities and concentrate on optimising existing technologies instead of betting on real innovations.
Read the Interview in German here.
“We must not allow end of RWE”
Armin Laschet, deputy head of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, said the state has a partial responsibility for utility giant RWE, reports the WAZ. “I believe society as a whole has the responsibility to work out how to overcome the burden created by many decades of reliable nuclear and lignite power supply, together with the company,” Laschet told the paper. He said it was not a forward-looking policy to “take away RWE’s business model and destroy the whole company”. He says it was a political decision to start and then exit nuclear power and the company cannot be left alone to deal with the consequences.
Read the interview in German here.
“German coal community pivots to renewable energy”
Cities such as Gelsenkirchen and Essen – which used to be part of Germany’s main industrial and coal-mining areas – are considering how to reinvent themselves amid the Energiewende, writes Erica Peterson for WFPL.org. Gelsenkirchen is focusing on research and development of all renewable energy – having in the past tried to rebrand itself the “Solar City”, Peterson writes. The initiative is being helped by Germany’s federal policies, which incentivise solar energy.
Read the report in English here
Institute of Renewable Energy Industry (IWR)/Renewable Energy Research Association (FVEE)
“Energy researchers demand technology mix for heat transition”
Energy researchers believe the transition to renewable heating systems requires a mixture of different technologies, reports the Institute of Renewable Energy Industry (IWR). This is why policy must not focus on single technologies, according to a position paper by the Renewable Energy Research Association (FVEE). Because heat accounts for 58 percent of Germany’s final energy demand - and only 11 percent of these are renewable - more decisive policy steps for the introduction of new technologies and efficiency measures are needed, said Gerhard Stryi-Hipp from Fraunhofer ISE, who heads the FVEE commission.
Read the IWR-article in German here.
Read a CLEW dossier on the role of efficiency in the Energiewende here.
“What Germany learned from its war on coal”
Germany offers a cautionary tale on why going green is not always as smooth a ride as thought, writes Annett Meiritz for Vox. The country’s Energiewende is spoken highly of as a model for tackling climate change but the difficulty in switching to renewables has received less attention, Meiritz writes. The coal industry has refused to disappear without a fight and continues to supply 43 percent of Germany’s electricity, with 25 percent coming from lignite, it is claimed. Germany is also in danger of missing its climate target of a 40 percent reduction below 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, Meiritz writes.
Read the article in English here.