In the media: Germany's climate target plan, Row over coal, RWE financial results
“Germany’s problems with climate protection“
Draft versions of Germany’s Climate Action Programme (Aktionsprogramm Klimaschutz), designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, and a National Action Programme on Energy Efficiency (NAPE) were exchanged by the responsible ministries yesterday.
The Economics Ministry’s NAPE is designed to achieve a 25-30 million-tonne CO2 reduction, mainly through improvements in buildings to increase energy efficiency. It will draw on some 2 billion euros annually from a KfW development programme and 1 billion euros in tax breaks as incentives for the measures, Dagmar Dehmer at Der Tagesspiegel writes. The Climate Action Programme, penned by the Ministry for Environment, is a “bundle of many small ideas, for which it is often hard to measure their contribution to climate protection,” Dehmer writes. The plan is based on assumptions such as 1 million electric cars on German streets by 2020 – a target that almost no one still considers realistic, she says. And the most contested questions remain undecided: regarding CO2 reductions from the power sector, including the phase-out of old coal-powered stations, the action programme contains an “xx” instead of a number.
See the article in German here.
“Action plan climate protection: Government spares old coal plants”
The German government has given in to trade unions and industry, writes Stefan Schultz in Spiegel Online. The draft version of the Climate Action Programme mentions a “further development of conventional power stations” but it does not state how much coal capacity will be taken off the market. This is mainly the making of energy minister Sigmar Gabriel, who under “massive pressure” from trade unions and utilities stopped discussions about a quick exit from coal power, the article says.
See the article in German here.
"Germany tables ambitious plan to uphold energy efficiency targets"
The German government has tabled a national action plan, including a tendering model for improving energy efficiency and tax rebates for the purchase of electric cars and building renovations, website EurActiv writes about the draft of the plan.
A major part of the programme consists on promoting building renovation, with 1 billion euro by 2019, EurActiv writes.
Read the article here.
“Despite light-bulb-ban: Germans use more energy than before”
With the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE), the German government wants to lower energy consumption by 20 percent in 2020 compared to 2008. This is an ambitious target, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt online, since energy consumption of private households increased by 3.9 percent last year despite appeals by the government to save energy at home. The EU-ban on conventional light bulbs has not led to a decrease in household consumption, with people also using more electricity for classic household tasks like cooking and washing.
See the article in German here.
State energy minister says coal lobby is driving government policy
The energy minister of the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, Robert Habeck (Green Party) criticises federal energy minister Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democrats) over his position on coal-fired power plants in an interview with the Flensburger Tageblatt. “Gabriel’s comments show how much he is driven by the coal lobby,” Habeck tells the paper. The claim that exiting coal would lead to exploding power prices was pure “propaganda.” “We have to switch off the first coal plants by 2020 to achieve our climate goals,” Habeck says. “And we need a clear exit path for the time after that.”
Read the interview in German here.
Dow Jones Newswires
“European energy security on the verge of change”
Switzerland will invest in grid refurbishment and would be prepared to let its neighbours use hydropower facilities as storage for volatile renewable energy, Dow Jones Newswires reports. The news comes after representatives of France, Switzerland and Poland met to discuss the European energy market with German experts at the Energy Efficiency Conference of Dena (German Energy Agency) in Berlin. The representatives expressed the need for a reliable European energy policy that would solve power market issues between the states, with the French participant calling for a European capacity market. Poland is focusing mostly on its national energy supply, including the construction of new power lines, 1 GW of new coal capacity and a 15 percent share of wind energy by 2020.
Bavarian state parliament votes yes on controversial distance-rules for wind turbines
The Bavarian parliament was in uproar yesterday when majority party CSU pushed through a controversial law obliging new wind turbines of 200 metres height to be built at least 2 kilometres away from the nearest house. The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that energy expert Natascha Kohnen (Social Democrats) accused CSU members of putting an end to wind power development with the new regulations. The target of 1500 new wind turbines in Bavaria will now not be possible, Bavarian energy minister Ilse Aigner admitted. Members of the Green Party want to challenge the law in the constitutional court.
“Bali was a long time ago: Obama and Xi humiliate Merkel and Gabriel”
The world has been turned on its head: Germany backs coal and China invests in climate protection, writes Hubertus Volmer in an opinion piece on n-tv.de. Germany and the European Union used to have leading roles when it came to climate protection but now Presidents Obama and Xi have humiliated them by agreeing their own greenhouse gas reduction targets even, if these are not ambitious enough. Chancellor Merkel on the other hand only mentions climate change in her Sunday speeches while her energy minister Gabriel is turning the energy transition into a programme for coal-development.
See the op-ed in German here.
RWE financial results
The drop in wholesale electricity prices and unusually mild weather hit profits at RWE in the first nine months of 2014, the company reported on Thursday. RWE´s recurring net income - the basis for determining its dividend to shareholders - declined 60 percent compared to the same period last year to 763 million euros.
Read a story on Bloomberg here.