07 Mar 2017, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Next gov's Energiewende challenges / Wind vs sun in renewable tenders

Clean Energy Wire

Greater energy efficiency, sector coupling and digitalisation are going to be core areas in energy policy that Germany’s next government will likely have to focus on, according to federal economy ministry state secretary Rainer Baake. During a speech at a conference of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) in Berlin, Baake explained that the German economy’s decarbonisation in the end would heavily depend on the electrification of all sectors, meaning that power generation, transport and heating had to be coupled in the most efficient manner. While he could not speak on behalf of the next administration, Baake said he expects “any government to adopt at least one sentence” in its coalition agreement that shows commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

For background, see the CLEW dossier Vote2017 – German elections and the Energiewende and the CLEW factsheet From ideas to laws – how Energiewende policy is shaped.

The Clean Energy Wire will publish an article on this topic later today.

Spiegel Online

The federal economy ministry (BMWi) is working on a concept for technology-independent renewables support auctions that would have wind turbines competing against solar PV facilities, writes Stefan Schultz for Spiegel Online. In a pilot project from 2018 until 2020, two joint auctions per year will determine the financial support for a total capacity of 400 megawatts annually, according to a paper seen by Spiegel Online. Separate tenders for wind and solar will continue for the largest part of renewables expansion and it is not yet decided whether the technology-independent auctions will continue after 2020, according to the paper. The ministry aims to comply with EU regulations with the proposal.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet EEG reform 2016 – switching to auctions for renewables and the dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act.


Schleswig-Holstein’s state Energiewende minister and Green politician Robert Habeck calls for abolishing the electricity tax, reforming grid fees and lowering the Renewable Energy Act (EEG)-surcharge to relieve consumers of high power costs, report dpa/Welt. Industry exemptions from the EEG-surcharge should in the future not be financed by power consumers, but the state, said Habeck.

Read the article in German here.

Also read the CLEW article Debate on financing renewables in new ways gathers pace in Germany.

German Bundestag

German Volkswagen is presumably not the only company to cheat on its emissions data - and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) of US state California will examine other manufacturers, said CARB chairwoman Mary Nichols in a hearing before the German Bundestag’s emissions scandal inquiry committee. VW was not very cooperative during the investigations, Nichols told the federal parliament committee.

Find the press release in German here.

For background read the CLEW factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The sale of Opel to French PSA Group could be the chance of a new beginning for the carmaker which evolved from a “German flagship brand” to a global “dwarf” under General Motors, writes Carsten Knop in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The shift to alternative drives and e-mobility was key: “Skilfully, the French negotiated the rights to continue manufacturing the new electro-Opel Ampera-e,” writes Knop.

Find the opinion piece in German here.

For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Germany lags behind in the worldwide expansion of e-mobility, according to a new report by environmental NGO WWF and German renewable power provider LichtBlick. “We are only at the beginning, but the trend towards e-mobility is gaining momentum globally. Ironically, it is the ‘automobile nation Germany’ that oversleeps this development,” said Gero Lücking of LichtBlick. New registrations of e-cars were comparably low in Germany, but Dieselgate might be the wake-up call for the German auto industry, says the report.

Read the press release in German here and the report in German here.

For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

EnBW / Tank & Rast

German utility EnBW and petrol station operator Tank & Rast will expand their partnership beyond the federal state of Baden-Wurttemberg to set up and operate fast-charging stations for e-cars on the Autobahn, the companies announce in a press release. EnBW plans to operate 119 charging sites on Tank & Rast service stations by the end of 2017.

Find the press release in German here.

For background, see the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German energy company Uniper’s sale of its share in a Russian gas field is “nothing but an emergency sale of the silverware”, writes Helmut Bünder in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Uniper had no choice in light of its debt-reduction target, but the company will be lacking the field’s profits in the future and costs would further need to be lowered – also at the expense of the workforce, writes Bünder.

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