23 May 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Merkel: Global CO2 price 'best solution'/ Coal undermines credibility?

Clean Energy Wire

A global emissions trading system would be the ideal instrument to fight climate change, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “It would be best if damaging emissions had a price world-wide. A global carbon market would be an incentive for the most efficient production possible, while ruling out a distortion of competition,” Merkel said in her speech at the 8th Petersberg Climate Dialogue. She said this is why Germany initiated a platform for closer cooperation on this subject during its G7 presidency in 2015, and called Chinese plans for emissions trading encouraging. “This is also a subject that can be extended to the G20 very easily,” Merkel added.

For background, read the CLEW article Germany, China urge US to remain in climate agreement.

Chancellor Angela Merkel calls climate change "a question of survival", but blocks a coal exit in Germany, according to Greenpeace. "Climate protection without coal exit is like trying to extinguish a fire with petrol," said Greenpeace's Karsten Smid in a press release. "Germany's coal problem robs us of the Energiewende's success and undermines the credibility of the government's climate policy on an international level [...] Germany must ensure that the share of fossil energies falls in sync with the roll-out of renewables."

For background, read the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The vice-chairman of the CDU's parliamentary group, Michael Fuchs, says wind power expansion in northern Germany "urgently" needed to be stopped due to mounting costs linked with Germany's lagging grid expansion, Andreas Mihm writes in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. "Installed wind power capacity in northern Germany is about twice as high as the region's power demand", forcing local producers to sell their electricity to customers in the south, Mihm explains. But due to insufficient transmission line capacities, only limited amounts of power can be transported, which is why Germany's Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) ordered a conventional power reserve to be held available in the south. Fuchs says the reserve coupled with grid expansion led to a "cost blind flight", prompting the conservative politician to call for postponing the next round of onshore wind power tenders, Mihm writes.

See the CLEW factsheet Germany's electricity grid stable amid energy transition for background.

German Wind Energy Association / German Engineering Federation

The German Wind Energy Association (BWE) has called the dominance of citizens' energy cooperatives in the first round of onshore wind power tenders a "surprise" and a "pleasant signal". Citizens' cooperatives increased wind power's local acceptance but now faced the challenge of implementing their projects, BWE head Hermann Albers said in a press release. Since citizen projects did not have to obtain a license tied to a specific location before submitting their bids, some of the auctioned projects might not even be allowed in the end, Albers warned. He said the volume of projects that are not realised should be added to future auctions . Matthias Zelinger, head of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), said citizen projects were initially meant to be "an exception" in the auctions, adding that their unexpected dominance"makes the expansion volume for 2019 very unpredictable". Zelinger said the special rules for citizen projects ought to be reviewed if the trend persisted in the next round of auctions.

Find the press release in German here.

See the CLEW article Citizens' energy projects dominate first onshore wind power auction and the factsheet High hopes and concerns over onshore wind power auctions for more information

Bild Zeitung

E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen has compared Germany's energy policy with excessive state control in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). In an interview with tabloid Bild Zeitung, Teyssen said regarding Germany's energy transition: "The state wanted to control everything. This resembles the planned economy in the GDR." He added that "there never was a clear goal for the Energiewende". Some wanted to shut down Germany's nuclear plants, some advocated expanding green power productions and some tried to transfer power production to customers, leading to 4,000 different price categories for power. "People won't accept this forever," Teyssen added.

Find the interview in German here (behind paywall).

For background, see the CLEW factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future.


It is economically beneficial for G20 member states to invest in climate protection measures, according to the new report "Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth" by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), presented at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. Combining climate policies such as carbon pricing with supportive economic policies could add one percent to average G20 members' economic output by 2021. German state secretary in the environment ministry Jochen Flasbarth pointed out that what was "new" about this report was the fact that the OECD was the author; an organisation "known for its robust economic approach". The report was commissioned by the German government under its G20 presidency as input for the climate protection activities.

Find the OECD press release in English here and the full report in English here.

Ars technica / Reuters

Daimler started building a new 500 million euro battery factory in the East German town of Kamenz. The site is the carmaker's second factory for lithium batteries and should be operational by the middle of 2018, quadrupling production, according to a Reuters report. But it still relies on imported battery cells. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who laid a foundation stone, said Germany and its car industry must invest heavily to ensure it is not left behind by the shift to electric cars, reports Emma Thomasson.

Read the Reuters article in English here and an article in ars technica here.

For an overview of the energy transition in the car industry, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers and the Factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans "radical" push into new mobility world.

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