In the media: Energiewende awareness, coal exit and climate action plan
“Survey: Energiewende little known in neighbouring countries, but support for goals”
Public awareness of the Energiewende – or energy transition – among some of Germany’s immediate neighbours is low, according to a story published by SolarServer. A recent survey commissioned by BP found that 63 per cent of respondents in Poland, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Denmark had never come across the concept. But a majority of the 1,000 persons surveyed said they agreed with its objectives.
Read the article in German here.
“Coal Exit: Politics finally needs to get serious!”
In an opinion piece in WiWo Green, Claudia Kemfert, head of energy research at the economic think tank DIW criticises that Germany is financing exports of dirty and unwanted technology, namely coal-fired power plants, to developing countries. Calling this practice “cynical,” Kemfert argues that the alternative – renewable energy – is better suited to the needs of these countries. Germany’s practice is tempting governments to buy “tomorrow’s problems,” like climate change, on the cheap today, she says. She also argues that Germany could easily reduce its domestic dependence on coal-fired power by expanding renewables and focusing on energy savings.
Read the op-ed in German here.
“Poison list for business”
The Handelsblatt reports on measures being considered as part of the German government’s action plan to meet its 2020 climate target – including CO2 savings in the automobile and airline industry, such as an expansion of trucking tolls on highways, a continuation of the air traffic tax, the introduction of a value-added tax for international flights, and an overhaul of energy taxes. The Handelsblatt says these measures are highly controversial because of their potential impact on business.
The German government will conduct auctions three times a year for subsidies to build 20-40 solar parks, according to a copy of the new draft law governing subsidies for solar parks obtained by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The 200-megawatt auctions will be part of a new regime to determine who gets subsidies, replacing the previous automatic subsidy for any builder. The idea is that parks will only receive enough subsidies to be economically viable, the newspaper cites the draft as saying.
“Germany to build liquefied gas station with EU funds”
The European Commission is to fund the construction of a German ferry running on liquefied natural gas (LNG), and an LNG fuel station in the North Sea, according to a Euractiv report. LNG is seen as a greener alternative to heavy oils: it doesn’t emit polluting sulphur dioxide and its greenhouse gas emissions are lower. An EU law coming into effect in January 2015 will force shipping companies to limit levels of sulphur dioxide released into the ocean. The new fuel station could make an increase in the number of ships using LNG in the area viable, the article says.
Read the article in English here.