Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Merkel’s expensive targets”
“Climate chancellor” Angela Merkel’s promise to put 1 million e-cars on German roads by 2020 might cost taxpayers dearly, writes Holger Steltzner in a commentary in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. E-cars are not sold in large numbers because they are expensive, their range small, and charging times long. “Instead of waiting a few years until battery technology has matured for the mass market, politicians want to force e-cars on the roads at any cost,” writes Steltzner.
The tagline of this week’s high-profile government conference on e-cars is “Electromobility: Strong into the market”, but this is wishful thinking, write Kerstin Schwenn and Hennig Peitsmeier in an article in the same paper. That’s why it is likely the government will grant the sector tax breaks for electric cars in company fleets. The government has spent more than 1 billion euros since 2013 on giving e-cars a boost, despite the fact that Germany’s three largest car companies VW, Daimler and BMW alone made a combined net profit of 25 billion euros last year, write the authors.
Find a government press statement about the conference on e-cars with much additional information about the sector in German here.
Read Steltzner's commentary in German here.
“Only the atmosphere is charged”
If Germany’s target of having 1 million e-cars on the road by 2020 is to be achieved, tens of thousands of charging stations will have to be built throughout the country, write Martin Balser and Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The car industry says more electric vehicles will only be bought when they are more charging stations, while the power sector says it will only build them when there are enough e-cars, creating a chicken-and-egg problem, write the authors. Additionally, there is a confusing mix of operators and tariffs, creating a heated argument over whether market forces alone will be able to solve the problem, according to the authors.
Read the article in German here.
“Coal reserve has to be considerably larger in order to have a climate effect”
The German power sector could reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 90 million tonnes by 2020 without causing a significant rise in the power price, a study by Enervis Energy Advisors, commissioned by think-tank Agora Energiewende* found. A reserve for old coal-fired power stations, as suggested by trade union IG BCE and industry association BDI, would be largely suitable for achieving this reduction, Agora says in a press release. But it would have to accommodate at least 4 to 6 gigawatts of lignite capacity in order to reduce CO2 emissions by more than a business-as-usual scenario. The reserve would have to include 18 to 20 old lignite blocks, Patrick Graichen, director of Agora Energiewende said, otherwise the money would be spent on plants that would have been mothballed anyway.
Read the press release and download the study in German here.
Read a CLEW blow-by-blow account of the climate levy/coal reserve debate here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitng
“The wrong message”
Only a global emissions trading system can enable the decarbonisation of the world economy at bearable costs, writes climate economist Joachim Weimann of Magdeburg University in a column in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. But chancellor Merkel missed the opportunity to give the idea of a global CO2 market a decisive push, because she decidied to posture as “German climate politician,” argues Weimann. “National climate policies with their own targets are counterproductive in the context of global emissions trading,” he says. The German Energiewende makes climate protection so expensive as to be unaffordable. Moreover, it doesn’t save a single tonne of C02 emissions – instead, it pushes down the price for EU emissions certificates which are used elsewhere instead, according to Weimann.
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Study: Employment in renewable energy sector in Germany
The Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has published a study on the number of jobs in the renewable energy sector. In 2013, 371,400 people worked in the sector, including in services, administration, research and manufacturing. The study concludes that the energy transition is shaping more jobs than are lost and is having a positive effect on employment in Germany’s economy. A scenario shows further increase in jobs by 2050.
Download the study in German here.
* Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.