Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“A grand coalition against CO2 targets”
German carmakers VW, BMW and Mercedes, as well as metalworkers union IG Metall, are lobbying against the EU Commission’s plan to decide next year on stricter vehicle emissions targets for 2025, reports the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Car companies fear high costs and the union says stricter limits will endanger some of the 2.2 million jobs in the industry and also some of the 10.7 million that depend indirectly on it in Germany alone. According to the paper, German carmakers’ association VDA is demanding that the EU overhaul the entire system of vehicle emissions rules, not just by focusing on emissions of new cars, but by taking into account all vehicles on the roads. The VDA argues in a new study that if new cars became more expensive due to stricter limits, more drivers would stick to their old and inefficient vehicles instead of buying new ones. The VDA also suggests the EU should be open-minded about the possibility of integrating car fuels into the EU’s emission trading system (ETS), the newspaper reports.
“Last chance for electric vehicles”
The charging systems for electric cars urgently need to be standardized and extended to enable the breakthrough for e-cars the government wants, according to a study by the German electronic industry association (VDE) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). There should be clear targets for the number of stations utilities need to build and if necessary, those targets should be legally binding, argues the study according to Handelsblatt, which has seen it. The issue of electromobility needs to be seen as an important part of the whole Energiewende project. The focus should also be on niche applications such as using electric tractors in agriculture or vehicles at container terminals in ports, say VDE and DLR. The study also says vehicle batteries could become an important storage option for grid operators.
Agora Energiewende / LBD
“Adjusting support for combined heat and power plants to the principles of climate protection and flexibility”
A pending legal reform should rearrange support for combined heat and power (CHP) plants to ensure these stations save greenhouse gas emissions and are flexible in facilitating a system dominated by fluctuating renewable production, think tank Agora Energiewende said in a press release. According to a study by LBD Beratungsgesellschaft, commissioned by Agora Energiewende, current market conditions don’t allow CHP plants to operate profitably and CHP development is not expected to achieve the government target of 25 percent CHP in power production by 2020. Since the current CHP support regime doesn’t promote flexibility and greenhouse gas reduction, Agora Energiewende suggests eliminating the CHP target and tying support to requirements such as heat storage and power-to-heat, at the same time reducing advantages for own-consumption of CHP.
See the press release in German here.
See the study in German here.
Mlex Market Insight
"Germany appeals EU decision on renewable energy law"
Germany wants the EU to abandon its demand that the government take back some of the support it awarded to energy-intensive companies as part of the Renewable Energy Law, writes Laura Henning in Mlex Market Insight. The support had aimed to shield energy-intensive companies from bearing too much of the burden for renewable energy expansion. The EU Commission had said Germany should recover a portion of the support given to heavy industry between 2013 and 2014, Henning writes. But Germany says the EU misunderstood how financial flows in that system functioned and the role of the government, she says. Germany’s legal challenge was filed to the EU Court of Appeals on 2 February, but only published in the court's Official Journal in April, Henning says. Germany claimed the EU falsely concluded that “energy-intensive users had been favoured” over small companies, she says.