An accelerated drive to phase out coal both in Europe and internationally – fuelled by the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) and the emergence of the European Commission’s Coal Regions in Transition Platform – puts additional pressure on the EU’s largest coal user, Germany, to follow suit, writes the climate think tank E3G in a paper. “The increasing momentum around the Alliance [PPCA] now sees Germany standing as a laggard on coal, but increasingly on climate policy more generally," write the authors.
Find the paper in English here.
For the third year in a row, rising primary energy consumption shows that Germany has not succeeded in decoupling economic growth from its energy use, writes Klaus Stratmann in an opinion piece in the Handelsblatt. “The development proves that the billion euro efforts to increase energy efficiency remain without the desired effect," writes Stratmann. Recent data published by AG Energiebilanzen also showed that the share of renewables in primary energy consumption rose only slowly, and that it was a “hallucination” to see the rising renewables share in electricity production as “proof of Germany’s role model path into a climate-friendly future”, writes Stratmann.
Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts.
The electric Streetscooter, built by postal service Deutsche Post, is struggling to function properly in cold winter weather, Birger Nicolai writes in Die Welt. Drivers using the e-car, produced by Deutsche Post after it failed to find a comparable model in the product range of major carmakers, are said to have to choose between using the Streetscooter’s heating or being sure to reach their destination due to battery weaknesses, Nicolai says. “If all goes wrong, the van just breaks down in the middle of the road," he writes. Deutsche Post denies having any major problem with the vehicle, which it also sells to other companies, but employees argue the Streetscooter is simply not technically mature yet, the article says.
Read the article in German here.
Germany could reduce its power generation from lignite by more than 80 percent and cut related high emissions if it stopped electricity exports and largely replaced lignite-based power with electricity from existing modern gas and hard coal plants, Bruno Burger, professor at Fraunhofer ISE, told Gero Rueter for broadcaster Deutsche Welle. This would translate into CO₂ emissions savings of more than 110 million tonnes annually, said Burger. However, gas-fired power generation is still more expensive than coal-fired power generation. This would change if the costs for health and other damages were included, writes Deutsche Welle - for example with the introduction of a price on CO₂ emissions.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Setting the power price: the merit order effect.
Daimler / Reuters
German carmaker Daimler has acquired a majority stake in Chauffeur Privé, a French rival to the larger Uber car-ride app, in the latest example of traditional companies looking to deal with challenges from technology-driven startups, reports news agency Reuters. Daimler intends to fully acquire Chauffeur Privé by 2019, the company said in a press release.
Read the Daimler press release in English here, and the Reuters article in English here.
Also read CLEW’s factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.
WirtschaftsWoche / Handelsblatt
BMW head Harald Krüger has rejected VW CEO Matthias Müller’s call to end the privileged tax treatment of diesel cars, reports Handelsblatt. “I think abandoning the diesel subsidies is wrong. This is not justifiable for the customers that have bought a diesel," Krüger said in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche.