New draft climate plan: 'Climate dictatorship' or 'weakened' proposal?
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The new Climate Action Plan 2050 being prepared by Germany pursues an “absolute priority” of climate protection, writes Andreas Mihm in an opinion-piece for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The plan is still vague but postulates targets which nobody is sure can be achieved. Using the “dictatorship of regulative law”, the environment minister suggests that oil and gas heatings will be forbidden, as will the use of turf in people’s gardens and the consumption of meat should be cut in half. Citizens will not put up with this “climate dictatorship” in the long-term, Mihm concludes.
The language in the Climate Action Plan 2050 regarding coal used to be crystal clear: it was to be ended “well before” 2050. But the new draft version of the paper is lacking this kind of clarity, writes Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. It now says that the use of coal will decrease step-by-step in the future – “to realise this, a climate action plan would not have been necessary”, Bauchmüller says.
Read the article in German here.
Sweden and Germany should set a precedent with Vattenfall’s lignite assets in the eastern German region of Lusatia and transfer the operations into a state-owned foundation with the clear goal of a socially acceptable and environmentally responsible lignite phase-out, writes Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International in a guest commentary in Handelsblatt. “Together, the two countries can breathe life into the Paris Agreement by keeping the coal in Lusatia in the ground,” writes Morgan.
Former US Vice President Al Gore also called on both the Swedish and the German governments to work together to keep coal in the ground in a separate tweet.
Read the guest commentary (behind paywall) in German here.
Find Gore’s tweet in English here.
Read the CLEW article on Czech utility EPH’s plans to take over Vattenfall’s German lignite.
The German government exports the Energiewende and supports the development of renewable energies outside the country’s borders, like on the Greek island of Tilos, writes Handelsblatt. Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel is on a two day visit to Greece to advance the expansion of renewables, especially on islands that are not connected to the main land power grid. Tilos’ power is currently supplied by diesel generators on the neighbouring island of Kos, but the plan is to make it an energy independent “green island”, writes Handelsblatt.
Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.
Read a press release by the economy ministry in German here.
Find the federal government’s website of the Renewable Energies Export Initiative in English here.
Federal Network Agency
The feed-in tariffs for new photovoltaic (PV) installations will not be lowered between 1 July and 30 September 2016 for the fourth time in a row. This is because newly installed capacity of 1,366 megawatts (MW) over the past 12 months was more than 1,000 MW below the target corridor of 2.4-2.6 gigawatt (GW) as determined by the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the Federal Network Agency wrote in a press release. The feed-in tariffs were last lowered in June 2015.
Find the press release in German here.
The European Union would lose a strong voice for ambitious climate protection policy if the UK leaves following last week’s referendum, writes Claudia Kemfert from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in a guest commentary for Capital. A Brexit would be the “deathblow” for the “already ailing” Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), writes Kemfert. As a result, Germany’s role in the EU’s climate protection efforts would be more significant.
Read the guest commentary in German here.
Natural gas as a partner for renewable energies is the “key to a low-carbon energy system”, said Eirik Wærness, senior vice president and chief economist at Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil, in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche. Wærness criticised the German support system for power from renewable sources and said that a change was needed if Germany wanted to reach its climate targets. Natural gas and oil would be needed in the global energy mix for decades to come, and not every sector could be electrified.
Read the interview in German here.
Hans Bünting, COO Renewables of RWE International SE (Innogy), sees no reason for the German utility to hold back on renewables investments in the UK following the Brexit vote. “On the basis of the currently available information, the UK is and will remain one of our core markets [in renewables],” said Bünting in an interview with Handelsblatt. “The British might leave the EU – but that doesn’t change the fact that they gave assurances at the global climate summit in Paris.”
The nuclear sector is showing confidence at its big trade fair in Le Bourget, France. And German companies which are feeling sidelined by the nuclear phase-out at home are hoping to get work abroad, writes Leo Klimm in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Germany is turning its back on nuclear power – since Fukushima even more so – but many other countries view it as a technology of the future. The head of the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE) taunted Germany’s decision as a “weird mix of highly polluting coal power and renewable energies”, Klimm reports.
Read a CLEW dossier about Germany’s nuclear phase-out.
Institute for Applied Ecology
A research project by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) and the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) has shown that those households with the highest power consumption can be particularly successful when it comes to saving electricity. They can be motivated by showing them how much more power they use than other households and by receiving individual council, the study found. The seven “power consumer classifications” that the researchers established for comparison purposes, have been incorporated into the “power index for Germany” by the Ministry for Environment.
Read the press release in German here.