Mining union warns against 'premature lignite exit' / Too few 'negawatts'
“We can’t cope with a premature lignite exit”
The Paris Agreement has no consequences for Germany, because the country already has the most ambitious climate targets, according to Michael Vassiliadis, head of mining union IG BCE. Vassiliadis told regional newspaper Rheinische Post there were efforts to politicise lignite in the wake of the Paris summit, citing the proposal by think tank Agora Energiewende to exit coal by 2040. Vassiliadis argues that Germany will exit nuclear by 2022 and can’t cope with a premature lignite exit “at the same time”. Germany should instead focus on grid extensions and storage. “Grids and storage will decide the fate of the Energiewende, but not arbitrary exit discussions,” he says.
Read the interview in German here.
Find a CLEW report on the Agora proposal here.
“Negawatt instead of megawatt”
Making the German economy more efficient is the second big pillar of Germany’s climate policy - with the development of renewables being the first. But the government is struggling to achieve the energy savings it planned, says Joachim Wille in the Frankfurter Rundschau. Tax reductions for housing insulation, as proposed by the federal government, have been blocked by Bavaria, taking away an important incentive for home owners to refurbish their houses. Germany is obliged to cut energy consumption by 1.5 percent each year under the EU efficiency directive. But, according to experts, the target will not be met, Wille writes.
Read a CLEW dossier about efficiency in the Energiewende here.
“Pressure on carmakers: Environment ministry threatens e-car quota”
Germany’s environment ministry could force carmakers to produce e-cars with a quota or take even more drastic measures if necessary, reports Gerald Traufetter for Spiegel Online. The ministry is preparing plans in case there is no agreement on incentives for e-mobility, writes Traufetter. He says a compulsory quota of three percent e-cars is under discussion at the ministry, as well as higher taxes on diesel to finance a push for e-mobility, and advocacy of stricter emission limits at a European level.
The ministry did not participate in last week’s meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel with representatives of the car industry. But it is frustrated at the lack of decisions because high emissions in the transport sector endanger Germany’s climate targets, reports Traufetter. Finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble rejected a buyer’s premium during the meeting, according to media reports. Participants agreed to meet again in March, and Schäuble will meet BMW CEO Harald Krüger this month to discuss the issue, according to Spiegel Online.
Read the article in German here.
Find the new CLEW dossier on Germany’s struggle with a transport Energiewende here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on Germany’s climate targets here.
“Wind onshore – new rules for a mature market”
Onshore wind power has assumed a fixed place in European power generation and its share is likely to grow to 13 percent by 2030, an analysis by consultancy Roland Berger has found. The share of coal is likely to drop from 29 to 15 percent during the same period, the consultants estimate. On average, 33 new jobs appear in the wind onshore business per day in Europe, the paper says. Germany, France and Sweden are key wind power markets, with the least risk for investors but also with the smallest yields. The authors warn that there are serious bottlenecks in the European grid and that the grid expansion necessary to accommodate more wind power was going too slow.
See the publication in English here.
dpa / WirtschaftsWoche
“Good prospects for German chemicals industry”
The German chemicals industry has the opportunity to grow in 2016, a study by Commerzbank has found, according to German press agency dpa. Companies are benefiting from the rise in global demand despite “strong competition and expensive energy”, the article says. Commerzbank points out that the sector benefits from the low oil price. But Utz Tillmann, head of industry association VCI, criticises energy policy as the “Achilles’ heel of competitiveness” and said the costs for the energy transition could be too high.
Read the article in German here.