In the media: Germans largely in favour of renewables
Renewable Energies Agency (AEE)
“German people want more renewable energies”
People in Germany are still very much in favour of the Energiewende, a representative survey by TNS Emnid shows. Phasing-out nuclear energy and fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable power from mostly wind and solar facilities was deemed important or extremely important by 93 percent of participants, the Renewable Energies Agency, which commissioned the poll, said. Some 68 percent of people said they were happy to have renewable power stations, such as wind turbines, in their neighbourhood. A majority of 57 percent considered the renewable energy surcharge, payable via household power bills, to be “appropriate”, 6 percent said it was “too little” and 31 percent described the contribution as too high.
Read the press release in German here.
See a CLEW factsheet about citizen polls on the Energiewende here.
See a CLEW factsheet about household power prices in Germany here.
Car manufacturers criticise government target for e-cars
The government’s plan to have 1 million electric vehicles on Germany’s roads by 2020 is out of reach, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said, according to a dpa report. Conditions for e-cars, for example with the state giving tax privileges, need to change if the target is to be met. Producing e-cars was still much more expensive than making vehicles with combustion engines and they do not make car manufacturers money, Zetsche added. The Ministry for Transport said it had several measures to promote electric mobility, including tax breaks for e-cars and free parking. It is also building a nationwide network of fast-charging stations along the motorways, the ministry said.
Read the article in German here.
“How to store renewable energy?”
North-East German utility Wemag is operating the largest German battery, writes Christian Wüst in Der Spiegel. In order to integrate an increasing amount of fluctuating power from solar panels and wind turbines into the grid, Germany will need more storage facilities like this, Wüst is told by battery engineer Clemens Triebel at Younicos, which is also installing a battery on the Azores. Other experts, like think-tank Agora Energiewende and the Federal Network Agency, say that flexible power stations and small batteries in households are the better option while the share of renewables was still below 70 percent, Wüst writes.
Read a CLEW dossier on technologies of the Energiewende here.
Die Tageszeitung – taz / Frankfurter Rundschau
“Climate actions is talked to death”
Three months before the climate conference in Paris and the belief seems to be that climate change will escalate much more than was planned or hoped for, Bernhard Pötter writes in the taz. Current climate targets will lead to up to 3 degree Celsius warming by 2100, Pötter says. Meanwhile, negotiations outside the UN conference are becoming more intensive, with 50 ministers and state secretaries meeting in Paris to find solutions while talking “off the record”. Jochen Flasbarth, German state secretary in the Environment Ministry, will attend the minister meeting. He told the taz: “We want to achieve complete decarbonisation within this century and we seem to be starting too slow. We have to get faster once we’re running.”
Joachim Wille, in the Frankfurter Rundschau, adds that another high-level meeting will take place in New York in September, where Chancellor Angela Merkel will participate.
Read the UNFCCC press release on the completion of the latest UN climate change negotiations in Bonn here.
“Copenhagen in mind”
That negotiations are developing at all – albeit at a “snail’s pace” - was the best news to come out of the climate negotiations at Bonn, writes Dagmar Dehmer in an op-ed for the Tagesspiegel. Nevertheless, there is a good chance that the Paris climate summit in three months’ time will not end in disaster because overall conditions have improved. The improvements include positive signs from China and the US, falling prices for solar power and the fact that more money is being invested in renewable energies than in dirty conventional power stations, Dehmer argues. While the greenhouse gas reduction targets put forward so far are not enough to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, they testify to real climate action.
Read the op-ed in German here.
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung
“Sun, water, wind: the development of the energy transition in Germany”
A majority of Germans are in favour of the energy transition – but the change to a system dominated by renewable energies is at a crossroads, according to a new report by Franz-Josef Brüggemeier for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (the social democrat’s political foundation). Many decisions about methods of decarbonising the German economy have to be made, the report states. It is the task for social democracy to facilitate a balance of interests between the winners and losers of the energy transition, Brüggemeier writes.
Read the report in German here.
See a CLEW dossier about the social impacts of the Energiewende here.