17 Aug 2016 | Sören Amelang, Edgar Meza

Norway's e-car push an example for Germany? / Fuel tax debate

Handelsblatt

“E-cars instead of internal combustion engines: Norway's dream – a model for Germany?”

Norway is aiming to eliminate sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2025 and allow only electric vehicles, but such a model would be harmful to the environment in Germany, Daniel Delhaes writes in Handelsblatt. While Norway can generate most of its electricity through wind and hydropower due to its geographic location, a similar move in Germany would mean burning more coal to generate electricity, Delhaes argues. Norway is a leading market for e-cars and hybrid plug-ins, which accounted for nearly 30 percent of newly registered vehicles in the first half of 2016.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read CLEW's dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

 

Der Tagesspiegel

“Waiting for the electric vehicle miracle”

The diesel engine has been damaged by the emissions scandal and it will reach the end of its development capability in about a decade, but German automakers must nevertheless make diesel acceptable again, Henrik Mortsiefer writes in Der Tagesspiegel. New generations of modern diesel vehicles beyond the current E6 standard will come and without them it will not be possible to achieve the EU’s CO2 limits that are to come into effect in 2021. Modern diesel engines emit less CO2 than petrol-powered vehicles. Germany is not Norway, it is a leading auto-producing nation, Mortsiefer adds.

Read the article in German here.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Wolfsburg Problems"

The costs of the VW diesel emissions scandal keep on rising with a never-ending succession of new court cases in the US and Europe, writes Carsten Germis in a commentary for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The new VW CEO Matthias Müller wants to transform the carmaker based in Wolfsburg into a global leader in e-cars  and mobility services, but the costly aftermath of the scandal puts these plans at risk. "Every cent that the company will have to pay will be missing for investments in electric mobility and the cars’ digital future."

 

Die Welt

“Economists do not think much of Gabriel's fuel tax”

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has ignited a storm with the recent publication of its Green Paper on increasing energy efficiency, Philipp Vetter writes in Die Welt. The paper proposed a flexible energy tax to counteract falling oil prices. Economists such as Thomas Puls of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research are not convinced, however: “I am skeptical about the proposal.” Higer prices at the petrol station have in the past had little impact on driving habits due to the fact that many drivers have to drive a certain amount of kilometres every day and therefore end up using the same amount of petrol or diesel, Puls said.

Read the article in German here.

 

Stiebel Eltron

“Trendmonitor: 62 percent of Germans see federal government as obstacle to energy transition”

Almost two-thirds of German residents say the government is thwarting the country’s energy transition in heating by not providing enough consumer incentives to switch from systems burning fossil fuel to those using renewable energy, according to the Stiebel Eltron Energie-Trendmonitors 2016 report. In its survey of 1,000 citizens, Stiebel Eltron found that a large majority support climate goals: 80 percent say it’s important to lower CO2 emissions to protect the climate. Rudolf Sonnemann, CEO of manufacturing group Stiebel Eltron, said the ongoing debate on climate protection between the environment and economic affairs ministries and the chancellor’s office was “a renewed signal of uncertainty for German households.”

Read Stiebel Eltron’s press release in German here.

For more details on the public perceptions, consult the CLEW factsheet Polls reveal citizens' support for Energiewende.

 

Die Welt

“What are the environmental impacts of offshore wind farms?”

A 15 million euro research platform in Germany’s North Sea is examining the effects and possible risks of energy generation in the ocean. The Fino3 platform, located 80 kilometres from the German island of Sylt and near the DanTysk offshore wind farm, examines issues such as sediment washouts and corrosion protection to keep toxic chemicals from being distributed in the water. Companies and universities have carried out joint research on the platform since 2009.

Read the article in German here.

 

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