In the media: Diesel cheating; more money for combined heat and power

Die Welt

“The German government knew the cheating technology”

The German ministry for transport has known for a long time that car manufacturers are using technologies that interfere with emissions testing, Matthias Kamann reports in Die Welt. A government reply to a query by the Green Party in July 2015 admitted that the ministry knew about the cycle detection technology and was talking to the EU Commission on how to adjust emissions tests to get more realistic results. “This means the VW exhaust scandal is the result of a government policy that disregards all concerns for consumers and environmental protection and condones tricks and cheating,” Oliver Krischer, deputy head of the Green Party parliamentary group, told the paper.

Read the article in German here.

 

Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

“Incentives for climate-friendly power stations”

The government cabinet has decided upon a reformed law for combined heat and power (CHP) which will almost double support for the technology to 1.5 billion euros per year. Because CHP uses fossil fuels more efficiently than power plants, which only produce electricity, the government wants to use the technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 4 million tonnes CO2 by 2020, a BMWi press release states. The law focuses support mainly on gas-fired CHP plants, while CHP facilities using hard coal or lignite will not be supported in the future. In order to lower costs for households due to the extra CHP support, large power consumers will have to pay more, the ministry says in a press release.

Read the ministry press release in German here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung/BMWi

“The power meter becomes digital”

The energy ministry (BMWi) has published a draft law on the digitalisation of the energy transition in order to improve the balance between power supply and demand, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. The new meters can also count power flowing into the grid from private solar arrays or storage systems, according to the article. In contrast to the old system, the future decentralised power supply is characterised by electricity flows in both directions, says the draft law. The new meters also allow customers to spot more easily where electricity is wasted. The law aims to avoid additional costs for private households, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.

Find the ministry’s draft law in German here.

 

Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV)

“Obligatory Digitalisation through the cellar door”

The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) claims that the draft law would allow grid operators to install smart meters in private households without their consent. “Once again, the consumers are meant to be the paymasters of the energy transition. High tech in cellars brings little additional value, but additional permanent costs,” said VZBV head Klaus Müller. He also claimed the new meters would collect sensitive data. “The obligatory digitalisation through the cellar door is the wrong way.”

Read the VZBV’s statement in German here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung

“RWE open-cast mining to shrink”

The battle over RWE’s open-cast mining in Garzweiler II continues as the regional government plans to abstain from the resettlement of three small towns, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The RWE mine is also required to keep a larger distance from another nearby town, according to a draft government paper. RWE said this was unnecessary but welcomed the confirmation by the regional government that lignite mining will remain necessary beyond 2030 to secure energy supply, according to the report. The changes mean the possible output from the mine – currently estimated at 1.2 billion tonnes – would shrink by a third.

Read an online version of the article in German here.

 

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“On tenterhooks”

Swedish utility Vattenfall cannot expect many offers for its German lignite operations, which it officially put up for sale on Tuesday, reports Markus Balser in Süddeutsche Zeitung. But Czech utilities CEZ and EPH are still interested, according to insiders of the sales process, writes Balser. “Vattenfall is choosing a similar path as Germany’s largest power company E.ON, who split off its power plant operations and focusses on grids and renewables,” writes Balser.

Read the article in German here.

 

EurActiv.de

“German government decries diesel car emissions”

The German government has hit out at the level of nitrogen oxide emissions from new diesel cars, writes Samuel Morgan for EurActiv Germany amid the Volkswagen scandal. It has complained to the European Commission about the emissions, which it claims are “far too high”. Germany has been under fire for some time over its high urban levels of nitrogen oxide – which can cause serious respiratory problems - but puts the blame firmly on diesel-powered cars, EurActiv Germany states.

See the article in English here

 

Siemens

Siemens reveals 2030 carbon footprint goal

German technology giant Siemens plans to become the world’s first major industrial company to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, according to a press release by the group. It aims to halve its carbon dioxide emissions – which currently stand at 2.2 million metric tonnes per year – by as early as 2020, it claimed. Siemens will invest about 100 million euros over the next three years in new technologies – such as energy management systems for manufacturing - to achieve the goals. “Cutting our carbon footprint is not only good corporate citizenship, it's also good business,” said Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG.

Read the press release in English here.

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