27 Sep 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Power 'autobahn' much more costly / Wind industry faces headwinds

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Planned power lines to link renewable production in windy north-eastern Germany to demand in the country’s industrial south are likely to cost three times the 4 billion euros originally projected, writes Christian Sebald in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Public protest and resistance from the Bavarian government resulted in a decision by federal government last year to force grid operator TenneT to lay the cables underground. That means they will be considerably more expensive than the overhead lines originally planned. TenneT has presented a variety of updated route suggestions to the Bavarian government and is to publish them on Thursday.

Read the article in German here

Find a CLEW dossier on Germany’s power grid here.


The “spectacular growth” of the wind power sector over recent years looks unlikely to continue, because of new policy frameworks such as reduced state support for renewables, as well as public opposition and slow grid expansion, writes Franz Hubik in Handelsblatt. The consolidation of wind power companies like Siemens and Gamesa has already shown that small players cannot survive and are being pushed out of the market.

Read the article in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

A new OECD study comparing tax regimes and emissions trading systems in different countries reveals that CO2 emissions are particularly expensive in Germany, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Almost half of emissions in Germany cost 30 euros or more per tonne of CO2. On average, it costs 59 euros to emit a tonne of CO2 in Germany, due to a price of almost 220 euros per tonne in the transport sector. On an international level, emitting a tonne of CO2 costs 14.40 euros – less than half the study’s estimated “real climate cost” of 30 euros.

Read the report in German here.

Find the OECD’s study “Effective Carbon Rates” in English here.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The dispute within Germany’s federal government over environment minister Barbara Hendricks’ Climate Action Plan 2050 “is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for Chancellor Angela Merkel,” writes Michael Bauchmüller in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “At the next UN climate conference […] in Marrakesh, Germany could be seen as the country that had to surrender to its climate plan due to conflicting interests at home,” writes Bauchmüller. This Friday, when the consultation period with other ministries ends, the negotiations for compromise will start. The federal cabinet is to decide on the plan in early November.

Read the article in German here.

Find background information on Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 in the CLEW factsheet Germany’s trimmed-down Climate Action Plan and the article Ministry avoids concrete targets in weakened Climate Action Plan.

Institute for Applied Ecology

Electric cars can significantly reduce CO2 emissions and air pollutants in Europe, but only if they are powered predominantly by renewable – rather than fossil-fuelled – electricity, according to a study by the Institute of Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut) and Transport & Mobility Leuven on behalf of the European Environment Agency (EEA). “If the share of electric mobility in passenger road transport increases to 80 percent by 2050, the CO2 emissions of the passenger road transport sector in Europe can be reduced by up to 84 percent compared to 2010,” according to a press release. Electric mobility could consume 4 to 5 percent of Europe’s electricity by 2030, and around 10 percent by 2050, according to the study.

Find the press release in English here.

For more on renewable transport, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Zeit Online

The rise of car sharing and self-drive electric vehicles could drastically reduce the number of cars on urban roads, according to Christian Hochfeld, head of new transport think tank Agora Verkehrswende*. “If a city’s entire car fleet was shared and self-driving, only 20 to 30 percent of today’s cars would be necessary,” Hochfeld said in an interview with Zeit Online. This would not necessarily translate into a massive fall in production for carmakers, because the cars would be used much more intensively, reducing their service life.

Read the interview in German here.

Find background on German carmakers’ new mobility plans in the new CLEW factsheets Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility and Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.

*Like Agora Energiewende and the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Verkehrswende is funded by the Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

Spiegel Online

Robert Habeck, one of the Green Party’s primary candidates for the upcoming federal elections, has demanded a halt to construction of the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project in light of Russian airstrikes in Syria, reports Spiegel Online. “Vladimir Putin bombs civilians in Syria […]. We make that possible through our gas and oil purchases in Russia. […] This close intertwining is extreme and we cannot want that,” Habeck told Spiegel Online.

Read the article in German here.

For more on the Energiewende’s implications for international security, see the CLEW dossier Energy transition shapes foreign policy in Germany and beyond.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy / VCI

The federal economy ministry has made changes to the reform of the combined heat and power (CHP) law, after last month’s agreement with the EU Commission on state aid questions. The changes include the introduction of tenders for governmental support for facilities with a capacity of 1 to 50 megawatts. Also, existing CHP facilities used for self-consumption will continue to be exempt from paying the renewables surcharge. The German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI) welcomed some of the changes. “Putting higher burdens on existing facilities would have hurt the competitiveness of many industry locations,” its director-general said in a press release.

Find the new draft of the reform law in German here.

Read the VCI press release in German here.

For background read the CLEW article Agreement with EU Commission clears way for German power market reform.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee