Merkel's CDU wins in SPD "heartland" / EnBW posts profit drop

Clean Energy Wire / New York Times

“Angela Merkel’s party scores big win in key German state election”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) garnered another election victory and beat the governing Social Democrats (SPD) in their “heartland”, Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Preliminary results show that the CDU could form a grand coalition with the SPD, but an alliance with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) could be more likely due to common policy grounds, albeit with a narrow majority. This is possible due to a strong showing of the business-oriented liberals, and the Left Party’s failure to pass the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament. The CDU victory “dealt a severe blow to Martin Schulz,” the SPD frontrunner for this autumn’s federal election, writes Alison Smale for The New York Times.
During the campaign, climate and energy policy such as the exit from coal-fired power generation – a topic heatedly debated on a national scale – were largely shunned by major parties in the region that houses Europe’s largest lignite mining district.

 preliminary results for 2017 and results for 2012. Source - Landeswahlleiter Nordrhein-Westfalen.

 

Read The New York Times article in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet Facts on the German state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia article Coal exit: elephant in the room at vote in German industry heartland for background.

 

The Economist

“The Schulz effect RIP”

While the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia were largely decided on local factors, “in more ways than one this was a dry run for the general election,” writes Jeremy Cliffe in a blog article for The Economist. “Thrusting social reformism went up against technocratic stability. [Conservative Chancellor Angela] Merkel went up against [the Social Democrat’s federal frontrunner Martin] Schulz,” writes Cliffe. The ‘Schulz effect’ was “officially dead. It is an ex-effect,” according to Cliffe.

Read the article in English here.

See the CLEW factsheet Facts on the German state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia and the article Coal exit: elephant in the room at vote in German industry heartland for background.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“The hard truth caught up with the SPD”

The strong showing by the Christian (CDU) and Free Democrats (FDP) in the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia shows that voters have put more emphasis on economic policy and wealth, writes Heike Göbel in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “It is encouraging for the whole of Germany that the citizens of the most populous state have decided to finally put less trust in those who above all lure with redistribution and higher social spending – and climate protection without any regard to the economy,” writes Göbel.

Read the opinion piece in German here.

See the CLEW factsheet Facts on the German state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia article Coal exit: elephant in the room at vote in German industry heartland for background.

 

Reuters / EnBW

"EnBW posts profit drop on Philippsburg 2 nuclear plant outage"

German utility EnBW posted a 17-percent decline in first-quarter core profit, reports Christoph Steitz for Reuters. The company blamed the unscheduled shutdown of its Philippsburg 2 nuclear plant. EnBW reaffirmed full-year financial forecasts, because it expects compensatory effects, such as the commissioning of new onshore wind farms. But in the first quarter, profit in the Renewable Energies segment “was negatively impacted by a poor wind yield,” according to EnBW.

Read the article in English here.

Find the company press release in English here.

 

Die Welt / Clean Energy Wire

“Wind park without support enrages Green industry”

German utility EnBW denied allegations by Germany's Wind Energy Association (BWE) that its zero-support offshore wind bid was “risk-oriented” and only possible because EnBW was largely state-owned, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. The allegations “made absolutely no sense” and one should “rather talk about the expected technological progress, instead of speculating about the bid,” said Dirk Güsewell, EnBW’s Director Generation Portfolio Development.
Similarly, Danish primarily state-owned Dong Energy, the other successful bidder in offshore auction demanding no support, denied its bid had been strategic in late April. Martin Neubert, managing director of the company’s German operations, told Clean Energy Wire the bid had to be economically sound since nearly 50 percent of the company were held by outside investors.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW article Operators to build offshore wind farms without support payments.

 

verivox

“Power in rural areas more expensive than in cities”

Electricity in rural areas costs on average 2 percent more than in German cities, writes price comparison website verivox in a press release. Households consuming 4,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year on average paid 1,138 euros in rural areas, while the same households in cities paid 1,121 euros. The reason was different grid fees, according to verivox.

Find the press release in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet What German households pay for power.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Kretschmann: Auto industry must act”

Green politician and state premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg Winfried Kretschmann called on car manufacturers to speed up the transition to e-cars, as Chinese competition required greater efforts, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We want to be a driver in this process,” Kretschmann said in an interview with the newspaper.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

 

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