31 Aug 2016, 00:00
Julian Wettengel

Resistance to coal exit / Biofuels “failed experiment”

New York Times

A worldwide coal exit will be difficult as coal remains the easiest and often cheapest source of base power and many jobs still depend on the fossil fuel, writes Eduardo Porter in a column in New York Times. In Germany, “only about 63,000 jobs are directly or indirectly related to coal out of a total work force of 43 million. But they are well organized into powerful unions,” he says. This has led the government to discard the idea of a climate levy and to omit a coal deadline from the Climate Action Plan 2050, as currently proposed by environment minister Barbara Hendricks.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW article CO2 targets and coal deadline omitted from Climate Action Plan draft.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The “well-meant experiment” to protect the climate by using biofuels in Germany and other EU countries has failed, writes Silvia Liebrich in an opinion piece in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “There is no reason to continue to cling to blending quotas, as long as no alternative is in sight,” writes Liebrich. The large-scale cultivation of plants used for fuels has led to deforestation, which in turn has led to more greenhouse gas emissions than if regular diesel had been used, writes Liebrich. At the same time, many of the plants were needed to feed the world’s growing population.  

Read the article in German here.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

New emissions tests for cars still leave room for the “trickery of the manufacturers”, according to expert reports for the German lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The biggest defect: the tests on how much CO₂ gasoline engine models emit continue to be done in the laboratory,” write Klaus Ott and Reiko Pinkert in the newspaper. On 9 September there will be an expert hearing on emissions tests in the Bundestag.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

E.ON spin-off Uniper is looking at “considerable share-price fluctuations” in the first few weeks after its stock market debut in mid-September, according to company sources, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Analysts expected the stock market value to fall short of Uniper’s book value of 12 billion euros, which could lead to a “billion-euro write-off” in the third quarter, the paper says. 

Read the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.


The Munich-based start-up Sono Motors has invented a small e-car that produces its own power through solar cells spread all over the vehicle, writes Wolfgang Kempkens in WirtschaftsWoche. Peak capacity is at about 1 kilowatt, which is supposed to last for a 30km-ride after four hours of charging in the sun. The battery charges while stationary and while driving. The first cars could be manufactured in 2017, writes Kempkens.

Read the article in German here.

Find background information in the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.


German company NEMOS will construct the prototype of a power plant that uses wind and wave power to generate electricity, writes Wolfgang Kempkens in WirtschaftsWoche. The company connects a floating unit with a generator attached to a regular wind turbine, to generate power in a “two-digit kilowatt range,” writes Kempkens.

Read the article in German here.

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