Power levies big industry concern/ Parties debate potential coalitions

DIHK / Die Welt

Additional charges on electricity among industry’s greatest concerns

Additional charges on electricity levied by the state are one of the greatest concerns of Germany’s industrial companies, Daniel Wetzel writes in Die Welt. According to a survey conducted by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) among 2,250 companies, lower charges on electricity is the industry’s most important energy policy demand for Germany’s next government, Wetzel says. Additional levies like the renewables surcharge or grid fees now account for 81 percent of the companies’ electricity expenses, overtaking the 64 percent surcharge rate on fuel. “Power prices have become a real disadvantage” for Germany as a location for industrial production, DIHK head Eric Schweitzer said. While wholesale power prices are falling, the state’s surcharges have doubled since 2010, he added. The DIHK says the state could unburden industrial companies by using revenues from the power tax to finance renewables expansion, instead of relying on the renewables surcharge that customers have to pay on their power bill.

Read the article in German here, the DIHK press release in German here, and the survey results in German here.

See the CLEW factsheets What business thinks of the energy transition and What energy & climate stakeholders want from Germany’s next government for background.

 

Tagesspiegel

“Who wants to govern with whom?”

One week ahead of the general election, the German political parties already debate possible scenarios for forming a coalition government, reports Lutz Haverkamp in Tagesspiegel. At a special party conference, the Greens’ top candidate, Katrin Göring-Eckardt, said that her party would enter a coalition government only if this could “determinedly advance” the Greens’ core demands. Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), said his party was “ready to take on responsibility”, but not at any price. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) has advocated a coalition of his party with the FDP and the Greens, writes Haverkamp.

Find the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article German election to define speed and shape of energy transition and the factsheet Colour codes: How energy & climate policy differs in German coalitions.

 

ARD – Bericht aus Berlin

Green and FDP leaders sound out potential coalition

In an interview with German public broadcaster ARD, Green Party head Cem Özdemir and his Free Democratic (FDP) counterpart, Christian Lindner, discussed the possibility of joining a government coalition after the general election. Lindner said he associates “phantasy” with the term ‘Jamaica coalition’, which describes the alliance of conservatives (CDU/CSU), Greens, and FDP. The election campaign was not about coalitions, but about important topics, according to Lindner: “Thank God we live in a democracy that’s not about destroying the political opponents, but about the competition of ideas. I don’t see myself in a role where I have to frantically distinguish myself from the Greens and fight with them”, he said. Özdemir said: “I think of [Jamaica] being a coalition that exists in [the state of] Schleswig-Holstein, which governs very successfully, and where the Greens make the difference”. Both parties share the goal of reaching the country’s climate targets, but have different views on how to get there, said Lindner. “We [the FDP] do not at all question the German climate targets […], but I think the paths we chose to organise the energy transition are wrong.”

Find the video in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article German election to define speed and shape of energy transition and the factsheet Colour codes: How energy & climate policy differs in German coalitions.

 

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

“Are we all tree-huggers now?“

Germans generally accept the idea that an energy transition costs money, but they are opposed to wasting money, Johannes Teyssen, manager of energy company E.ON, said in a joint interview with Green Party head Cem Özdemir in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Özdemir said that the Merkel government had made mistakes in the implementation of the energy transition, but highlighted that it helped the breakthrough of climate-friendly technologies. Özdemir and Teyssen agreed that Germany hasn’t done enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power stations, and both said that a European CO2 tax would make renewable energy more competitive.

See a CLEW factsheet on what energy and climate stakeholders want from Germany’s next government here, and on the parties’ energy policies here.

 

Energy Watch Group

“Urgent rethink required as Germany’s energy transition stalls”

Germany’s next government will have to ramp up efforts to advance the country’s transition to renewable energy sources in order to replace nuclear power and enable gradual decarbonisation, the Energy Watch Group think tank says. The “former global leader” in pushing the shift to renewable power has seen national expansion rates decline “dramatically” following “a series of policy failures”, such as the switch to renewables auctions, the think tank argues. “Germany has moved from frontrunner to laggard, exactly at the time when renewables are the cheapest option”, says Energy Watch Group head Hans-Josef Fell.

Find the article in English here.

See the CLEW article Booming German wind power sector fears 2019 cliff and the CLEW factsheet What energy & climate stakeholders want from Germany’s next government for more information.

 

Tagesspiegel / German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE)

“Renewables association wants CO₂ price in heating sector”

The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) proposes to introduce a CO₂ price for energy consumption in heating, writes Dagmar Dehmer in an article in Tagesspiegel. According to a study, carried out by consultancy Prognos, the levy of 25 euros per tonne of CO₂ could be added to the energy tax. The additional revenues of a total of 3.4 billion euros annually could be refunded to households, according to BEE.

Read the article in German here, and find the BEE press release in German here.

 

German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW)

10,700 e-car charging points in Germany

Germany has a total of 10,700 charging points at 4,730 stations for electric cars, reports the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). Of these, 530 are fast-charging stations. Charging points operated by energy companies and other providers, such as car parks, are included in the count. For Germany to reach its target of one million e-cars by 2020, 70,000 charging points would have to be installed across the country, the BDEW said in a press release.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the Energiewende in transportation here.

 

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