“Merkel says Germany weighing further support for electric cars”
Chancellor Angela Merkel said further public support is needed to achieve the government’s aim of bringing 1 million electric cars on to German roads by 2020, reports Reuters. “Germany will have no choice but to offer further support although we’ve already done some things,” Merkel told a conference on e-mobility. She said she aimed for a decision by the end of the year. Germany has so far refused to provide generous sales incentives for electric vehicles. The government's measures taken to date include tax breaks for owners of emission-free cars and about 1.5 billion euros in funding for related research projects, the article says. Merkel said other European countries with a higher share of electric vehicle sales, like Norway and the Netherlands, had used additional incentives to spur demand.
Read the article in English here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Cars with starting problems”
Further tax support for e-cars would be another sin of regulatory policy, argues Henning Peitsmeier in a commentary for Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung. If the government wants to make e-cars a success, it should instead announce clear targets for the number of new charging stations to be built, he says, adidng that instead of subsidising cars, the government could also cut taxes on electricity in general.
“The car is the incentive”
2015 is not the year of the e-car, but thanks to cheap oil, it is the year of fuel-hungry SUVs, writes Thomas Fromm in a commentary for Süddeutsche Zeitung. But this might not be such a bad thing, according to Fromm. Strong sales of SUVs mean car manufacturers have to push e-cars at the same time, because otherwise they risk violating EU car emission limits applied to their entire fleet, argues Fromm. SUVs’ success also means car companies have enough money to invest in a new generation of e-cars. But tax breaks alone will not be enough to enable the new technology to take off, writes Fromm. “The car itself has to be the incentive. E-Cars will be successful if drivers have an extensive and simple infrastructure for recharging at their disposal. That is still a long way off in Germany.”
Read the commentary in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Gabriel proposal for energy reform delayed”
A decision on the contested coal levy and power market reform might be delayed, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. According to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), a “white paper” of concrete reform proposals will be published “in June or July,” according to the paper. Originally, publication was planned for early June.
Read CLEW's blow-by-blow account of the coal levy dispute here.
Read a CLEW factsheet outlining the options for power market reform here.
“Clean goals could cut dirty jobs”
Politico reports that while Merkel has positioned Germany as a global leader in the transition to renewable energy, she faces pressure over the risk to jobs posed by cutting fossil fuel use. “While the idea of moving from nuclear and fossil fuels to renewables holds broad public appeal, the potential social and economic side effects are worrying,” the authors write.
See the article in English here.
German energy efficiency keeps improving
The Handelsblatt reports on Exxon Mobil’s energy outlook for Germany, which says the country’s energy consumption could be cut by 30 percent by 2040. The report predicts that the Energiewende will see coal’s share in the energy mix drastically reduced in the coming decades, with natural gas becoming the number one source of energy from 2030.
See the Handelsblatt article in German here.
See the Exxon Mobil report in German here.
International Energy Agency (IEA)
World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate Change
The International Energy Agency's new report on energy and climate change, says the energy sector must be at the heart of the global climate change agreement at COP21, with targets set for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report recommends key policy measures, including increasing energy efficiency, cutting the use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction, increasing investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector, and phasing out of fossil-fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
The report notes the strong growth of renewables – led by China, the United States, Japan and Germany – which it said accounted for nearly half of all new power generation capacity in 2014.
See the report in English here.
Öko-Institut, Fern, IFOAM
“New research shows risk of including land use and forests in EU’s emissions target”
A study by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) says including emission cuts from land use change and forestry (LULUCF) could in effect mean the EU missing its target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The research, commissioned by Fern and the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM), estimates that the actual reduction would be 35 percent or lower. The EU is due to close its consultation on the role of LULUCF in the climate effort this week. The study recommends establishing a separate target for this sector.
See a press release in English here.