04 Sep 2018, 12:56
Sören Amelang Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Mercedes, BMW & Audi start Tesla "assault" / Call for energy autonomy


Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen’s Audi and BMW will all unveil new electric cars in the coming days in a “German onslaught against Tesla’s dominance of the fast-growing market for premium battery cars”, report Esha Vaish and Laurence Frost for Reuters newswire. Mercedes-Benz is set to unveil its much-anticipated electric SUV, dubbed EQC, in a world premiere for the carmaker’s electric EQ sub-brand on Tuesday in Stockholm. BMW will showcase its Vision iNext on Sunday, 9 September, while Audi will launch its e-Tron SUV on 17 September, according to a Handelsblatt report.

Read the Reuters article in English here.

Find the Handelsblatt article in German behind paywall here.

For background on this topic, read the dossier BMW, Daimler, and VW vow to fight in green transport revolution.

Spiegel Online

The German coal exit commission will debate the impact of the rising price for EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) allowances in its upcoming meeting on 18 September, report Claus Hecking and Stefan Schultz in a lead story on Spiegel Online. Volatile prices for CO₂ mean that a plan to phase out coal in Germany, which the coal commission wants to present by the end of 2018, could already be outdated by the time it is decided, write Hecking and Schultz.

Find the article in German here.

For the full background, read the CLEW article Rising CO2-price could trigger German coal phase-out in 5 years.

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s energy supply security must not depend on the support of other countries, Thomas Bareiss, state secretary in the economy and energy ministry (BMWi), said at a conference on energy and climate policy organised by newspaper Die Zeit in Berlin. "We have to guarantee autonomous energy supply security, this is a value in itself," Bareiss said with a view to the debate over the decommissioning of coal power plants, which is currently being discussed by Germany's coal exit commission. The conservative politician of Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU said there would be greater and deeper integration of European energy markets, but added that Germany "has to show that it doesn't have to rely on other countries" to ensure it has sufficient energy at its disposal at any time.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future? and Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.


The European auto industry is questioning existing and future EU car fleet CO₂ emission limits, reports news agency dpa in an article carried by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Our industry is worrying about whether we’ll be able to reach the 2021 target [of reducing the fleet average to be achieved by all new cars to 95 grams of CO₂ per kilometre], because that’s obviously going to be tricky,” Erik Jonnaert, secretary general of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), told dpa. Jonnaert also rejects the European Commission’s proposal to reduce car emissions by 30 percent by 2030, compared to 2021. “Of course it feels good to have an ambitious reduction target on paper, but we want to make sure that what’s put down is also reached, at least in our industry,” he said.

Find the article in German here.

Find background in the news piece German government struggles to find common position on new EU climate targets for cars, and the article German environment ministry pushes for tougher EU car emission rules.

German power transmission grid operator TenneT has started laying the first underwater kilometres of NordLink, a direct power connection between Norway and Germany, the company announced in a press release. Over the coming months, TenneT will lay 99 kilometres of cable under the Wadden Sea, off the coast of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, then another 55 kilometres to reach the Danish border. The transmission line will allow the exchange of Norwegian hydropower and German wind energy. On land, TenneT began laying sections of NordLink, which will have a total length of 623 kilometres, in August 2017.

Find the press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article Norway bets on gas and CCS to complement Europe’s energy transition.

energate messenger

Andreas Pinkwart, economy minister of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany’s most populous state and home to one of three German lignite mining regions, has called for a CO₂ tax on oil and gas to ensure that power consumers do not have to shoulder all of the financial burden of the energy transition, reports energate messenger. Pinkwart, a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), added that a high price for electricity would hinder sector coupling.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheets Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future and Sector coupling - Shaping an integrated renewable energy system.

Frankfurter Rundschau

It is futile to hope that the German government will officially propose the introduction of a “climate passport” at the upcoming UN climate conference COP24 in Katowice, Poland, writes Joachim Wille in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Rundschau. In a recent policy paper, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) had called for “humane and dignified migration options” for people who are forced to leave their native countries due to climate change. “At least, the WBGU paper advances the debate about fairness in climate policy,” writes Wille.

For background, read the CLEW news piece Four climate policy initiatives for a fair transformation.

Die Welt

Enak Ferlemann, parliamentary state secretary in the transport ministry (BMVI), said that today’s form of e-mobility with batteries is only a precursor to drives based on hydrogen fuel cells, writes Olaf Preuss in Die Welt. Hydrogen made with offshore wind power is ideal to push the energy transition in the transport sector, Ferlemann said. “Germany must build electrolysis on an industrial scale. The amounts of reliable power necessary for this can only be supplied by offshore wind energy.”

Find the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Power-to-gas: Fix for all problems or simply too expensive?

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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