Progress in RWE-E.ON asset swap deal / Call for worldwide ETS
An asset swap deal between German utilities E.ON and RWE took a step forward after energy corporation innogy reached agreements with the two companies "for a fair integration process," Reuters reports. innogy will no longer be an independently listed company once the transaction is completed, according to the article. "The agreements with E.ON and RWE lay the groundwork for a fair integration process on equal terms and thus for constructive collaboration in the future. Considering the fact that innogy is being taken over, we negotiated the best possible deal for our employees," innogy CEO Uwe Tigges said in a statement.
For background, read the CLEW article RWE and E.ON overhaul power sector - German reactions to innogy deal, the dossier Utilities and the energy transition and the factsheet Germany’s largest utilities at a glance.
CDU Economic Council
German business association CDU Economic Council, associated with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), called on Germany and the EU to work towards a global regime to reduce CO₂ emissions “like the ETS” (European Union Emissions Trading System). In a paper on future EU economic policy, the council says that the “CO₂ price signal” of the ETS should be extended to all sectors. “Ideologically-led discussions about an accelerated exit from coal-fired power generation as a national solo-run are not target-oriented,” the council adds. Supply security and competitiveness must be treated of equal rank as sustainable climate protection, it writes. To create the energy union that has been planned for years, the council demands the accelerated expansion of cross-border grids, the harmonisation of national support systems and the exploitation of energy efficiency potentials on a European level. The council further calls for Europe-wide technology-neutral renewables auctions and the accelerated market integration of renewable energies.
Find the position paper in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier Germany's energy transition in the European context and the article German environment minister open to national carbon price.
With financing from its Horizon 2020 research programme, the EU is planning to allocate up to one billion euros to a research project on battery technology, reports Tagesspiegel Background. The call for tenders for electrochemical energy storage is scheduled to be launched next week. It is part of the European’s Commission’s “Strategic Action Plan on Batteries,” which aims to promote research on battery technology, according to the article.
Find the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For background, read the article Chinese-German battery cell deal key step for mobility transition and the dossier New technologies for the Energiewende.
Germany’s recently-formed coal-exit commission must take into account the jobs of those employed in the coal sector, said Michael Vassiliadis, president of the mining, chemical, and energy industry union IC BGE, in an interview with Tagesspiegel Background. “It is important to me that no one loses his job due to political decisions,” added Vassiliadis, who serves on the commission. If a coal-exit date is specified, coal miners will inevitably lose their jobs, he said, stressing that the quality of jobs in other industries in which they could work must be the same. Comparing the protection of workers in the clean energy sector to that in the lignite industry, he warned that “When you look at the renewables sector, there are often no nationwide collective agreements.”
Find the article (behind paywall) in German here.
For background, read the article Commission watch – Managing Germany’s coal phase-out and the factsheets Coal in Germany and Germany’s coal exit commission.
Spiegel / Deutsche Bahn
German rail company Deutsche Bahn has launched a pilot project in Hamburg in which public transit users can call a shuttle to pick them up in front of their house, Spiegel Online reports. Users can order the electric vehicles through an application on their smartphones. Ticket-holding customers will be able to use the service at no additional cost. “Such offers will soon follow in other cities,” Berthold Huber, Deutsche Bahn passenger transport director, said.
For background, read the dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.
Federal Statistical Office (Destatis)
Germany’s manufacturing companies spent 3.3 billion euros on climate protection measures in 2016, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) says in a press release. In total, the sector (excluding construction) generated 31.8 billion euros in current environmental protection-related expenditures, according to the office.
Read the press release in German here.
The Irish Times
Germany can teach Ireland many lessons about how to transition to a low-carbon energy system, writes Margaret Ward in an article in The Irish Times. Its citizen-owned renewable energy projects have created innovative business models and increased support for climate-protection measures, and Ireland should take note, Ward argues.
Read the article in English here.
For background, read the factsheet Citizens’ participation in the Energiewende.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Of all meat and dairy corporations, German companies Deutsches Milchkontor and Tönnies Lebensmittel are among the top 25 contributors to climate change, according to a new report from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the non-profit organisation GRAIN. Unlike other large polluters, most major companies in the livestock and dairy sector either do not report or underreport their emissions, the report says. Unless the industry makes significant changes, the sector will “eat up 80 percent of the allowable GHG budget in just 32 years,” the report warns.
Read the report in English here.