Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Support for nuclear plant operators”
The home region of battered utilities RWE and E.ON has suggested the companies should receive state aid if their provisions for nuclear decommissioning prove too small. North Rhine-Westphalia’s economy minister Garrelt Duin told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: “If we should eventually arrive at the conclusion that the nuclear provisions of 38 billion euros are not enough, then this will not be a question that the utilities would have to solve.”
Duin said both the companies and the state share responsibility for the nuclear clean-up. “There were no retroactive changes to the feed-in tariffs for renewable energies, and there must not be any regarding the question of the nuclear provisions.” Duin said it was “probable” that the provisions were too small. “In this case, the only way out is for the state to take on responsibility”.
“Reducing CO2 emissions in Germany by switching off coal-fired power plants”
Without changes to current government plans, CO2 emissions in the German power sector would fall by 34 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, according to a study by consultancy Energy Bainpool commissioned by Greenpeace. In order to achieve a reduction of 40 percent, corresponding to the national target, an additional coal power capacity of 5.9 GW would have to be taken offline, according to the study. The authors say this would lead to a drop in power exports, and a rise in wholesale power prices by 2.8 euros per MWh in 2020.
Greenpeace said in a press release the German government would have to switch off three times as many lignite power plants as currently planned to achieve its national emission targets for 2020, which would not endanger the power supply and cause little costs. “With her easy-going approach on the coal lobby, chancellor (Angela Merkel’s) words at the climate conference in Paris will ring hollow”, said Greenpeace energy expert Tobias Austrup.
Find the study in German here.
Read a factsheet about Germany’s emission targets here.
Find a blow-by-blow account about cutting CO2 emissions in the power sector here.
“The biggest earthquake in the car industry”
Public confidence in diesel technology has been shaken to the core, but the German automobile industry is still ignoring electric mobility, writes the German weekly magazine, Wirtschaftswoche, in a comprehensive feature on the subject. According to confidential data obtained by the magazine from carmakers' and suppliers’ strategy departments, German automobile companies have been using overblown numbers to convince the public and policymakers that electric cars are too expensive. In fact, these will soon be much cheaper than carmakers say, WirtschaftsWoche says. According to the data, “Electric car batteries that the carmakers are already ordering for models over the next three years, cost around half of what the German companies claim.” Instead of costing 8,000 euros, as these companies have claimed, they actually cost 4,500 euros, the magazine says.
Read the article in German here.
“There is a big future for diesel”
Matthias Wissmann, the president of the Geman Automobile Association told the WirtschaftsWoche that cheating on diesel emissions is a problem for Volkswagen, but not for the whole industry, and claims German carmakers are well-armed for the trend toward electro-mobility. “I don’t see long-term damage for the industry as a whole” from the VW emissions manipulation through software over-rides, Wissman told the magazine’s Christian Schlesinger. “There is no more efficient motor than modern diesel,” he said. “The technology is expensive, but efficient. I am sure that diesel still has a big future.”
Read the article in German here.