Experts disappointed by government deal on coal, grid extension
Most members of the Handelsblatt’s Energy Academy – a group made up of around 230 energy experts – are disappointed with the government’s deal on coal, the power market design and grid extensions, the business daily reports. Only 17 percent said the deal was “reasonable”, 45 percent said some of the decisions were good, but the overall deal was less than could have been expected. 38 percent said the deal was “too vague”. More than two thirds of those polled said the coal levy would have been a sensible instrument and half of the respondents said the exit from coal should be pursued “as fast as possible”.
“The fear of underground cables”
Germany’s four grid operators have warned that burying cables for the new power transmission links as agreed by the governing coalition parties last week would be technically challenging and the costs hard to estimate, writes Klaus Stratmann in the Handelsblatt, citing a letter by the companies to the grid regulator. The companies are also worried that repairing technical problems for underground cables would be more time consuming.
NGOs criticise Deutsche Bank role in Green Climate Fund
Environmentalists are objecting to the selection of Deutsche Bank for participation in the UN’s Green Climate Fund, due to the bank’s financing of global coal projects, according to various media reports. The choice has prompted environmentalists to question the UN fund’s integrity, writes Alex Pashley at website Responding to Climate Change (RTCC). Germany’s leading investment bank is the world’s tenth largest backer of coal, investing €15 billion in the industry from 2005 to 2014, according to the BankTrack network, Pashley writes.
In an article for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Markus Balser writes that some experts now hope Deutsche Bank’s involvement will change the lender’s attitude. “If the Green Climate Fund has now accredited Deutsche Bank, it (the bank) should have an utmost interest in putting a price on CO2,” Ottmar Edenhofer, head of the Mercator Research Institute for Global Commons and Climate Change, told the paper.
Read the RTCC story in English here.
Find the Süddeutsche Zeitung article in German here.
“RWE restructuring creates a stir in the Ruhr valley”
German utility RWE’s plans to restructure is unsettling its municipal shareholders that together own 24 percent of the company and where a number of its subsidiaries and branches are located, writes Ulf Meincke for the WAZ. The municipal shareholders include cities of Essen, Bochum or Dortmund. RWE's profits have dropped sharply in recent years. The paper reports that a special meeting of RWE’s board is scheduled for August 10.
Find the WAZ article in German here.
Read a CLEW dossier on the big utilities struggle for survival here.
“Europe’s mechanism for countering the risk of carbon leakage”
The European Union may need a more differentiated approach to assessing the risk of so-called carbon leakage – that is, companies moving production abroad in response to costs from the emissions trading system, researchers at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) conclude in a study. “The empirical evidence suggests that the current mechanism for dealing with carbon leakage in Europe may overcompensate some sectors, so that there may be potential for differentiating the EU’s current criteria for allocating emission permits for free more strongly to account for different levels of leakage risk,” they write, citing the Californian cap-and-trade system as an example.
BMW presents electric 40-ton truck
An all-electric tractor-trailer hit the road in Munich, the first time such a large electric vehicle made by a European manufacturer has gone into regular service in Europe, according to BMW, the German carmaker behind the project, reports Ari Phillips for ClimateProgress, part of blog ThinkProgress.
Read the ClimateProgress story here.
Find the BMW press release here.
“Please do not disturb with arguments!”
A grandiose Energiewende rhetoric based on a radical idealistic vision is preventing a rational debate about German energy policy, writes the director of the Institute of Energy Economics, Marc Oliver Bettzüge, in an opinion piece for Manager Magazine. “Critical observers are defied rather than listened to.” One could take an approach that examines the advantages, costs and best order of the measures, and ask how to best organise the innovation process for the future, Bettzüge writes. “But that’s not how we pursue our energy debate,” he argues, criticising a “radical, idealistic and ultimately ‘unworldly’ attitude,” which prevents a differentiated and realistic discussion.
Find the article in German here.