18 Jul 2018, 01:55 pm | Luke Sherman, Julian Wettengel

Nord Stream 2 talks / Tesla customers must return buyer's premium

Tagesspiegel

Talks on Nord Stream 2 begin in Berlin

Ministerial discussions between Ukraine, Russia, and the EU regarding the future delivery of Russian gas to Western Europe began yesterday in Berlin, Tagesspiegel reports. Economy minister Peter Altmaier is “optimistic” that a resolution to the dispute over the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline will be reached, according to the article. Upon its completion, expected next year, the energy project will allow for a higher volume of gas to be exported directly from Russia to Germany, bypassing transit countries in Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine. In the first round of talks, negotiators aim to both define the issues to be discussed and set a roadmap for the negotiations.

Read the article in German here and find the economy ministry’s press release in German here

For background, read the news digest item Trump lashes out at Nord Stream 2, says Germany is “totally controlled” by Russia and the factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

 

Gazprom Export

Gazprom exports to Germany increase significantly in first half of 2018

Russian state-run Gazprom’s natural gas exports to Germany increased 12.2 percent (3.5 billion cubic metres - bcm) in the first half of 2018, compared to the same period in the previous year, Gazprom Export writes in a press release. Both 2016 and 2017 were record years for Gazprom exports to Germany, with 53.4 bcm in 2017. Germany is the largest buyer of Russian natural gas, with a 27.5 percent share of Gazprom’s exports in 2017.

Find the press release in English here.

For background, read the news digest item Trump lashes out at Nord Stream 2, says Germany is “totally controlled” by Russia and the factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

European Commissioners push for greater oversight of carmakers’ compliance with EU emission rules

The European Commission wants to exert stricter control over how car manufacturers determine the emissions of their cars, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. EU Commissioners suspect that carmakers have found a loophole in the Commission’s targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, according to the article. Because CO2 targets for next decade will be determined based on a percentage reduction from a 2021 starting point, the Commissioners worry that auto manufacturers will report higher initial emissions values so as to make the future targets less ambitious and consequently less costly to achieve, the article says. The Commissioners propose that independent measurements of emission levels take place.

For background, read the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers and the article German environment ministry pushes for tougher EU car emission rules.

 

Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA)

Hundreds of Tesla buyers told to pay back government electric vehicle incentive

Buyers of Tesla Model S must pay back government support they received to purchase the car, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) has announced in a press release. BAFA estimates that its action applies to approximately 800 people. About 250 additional people who applied for the buyer's premium – but have not yet been granted it – will have their applications denied. According to the press release, the decision stems from a dispute between BAFA and the American car company over the fulfilment of government-determined criteria that must be met for electric vehicles to be eligible for the premium.

Read the press release in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article Federal government decides on 4,000 euro buyer's premium for e-cars and the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

 

Frankfurter Rundschau

German carmakers headed for "disaster" – opinion

German car manufacturers are working to sell ever more diesel vehicles in a bid to comply with stricter EU CO2 emission limits, risking “disaster”, writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Rundschau. Diesel-fuelled cars produce less carbon pollution than their gas-powered counterparts but, in the wake of the diesel emissions cheating scandal, the share of diesel vehicles in both Germany and the EU has sunk, according to Wenzel. To avoid the levy of financial penalties, German automakers are betting heavily on a diesel “renaissance”, but with the expiration of various favourable financing programmes looming, the success of the companies’ strategy is far from certain, Wenzel writes.

For background, read the factsheet “Dieselgate” – a timeline of Germany’s car emissions fraud scandal and the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

 

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