02 Dec 2015
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RWE split “perhaps too late” / Refugees affect German CO2 emissions

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Late, perhaps too late”

RWE’s plans are radical and effectively split Germany’s second largest utility in two, writes Caspar Busse in a commentary for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The decision is right and long overdue, because the sustainable business has to be separated rigorously from the old, if RWE is to stand a chance in its fight for survival. But possibly, the step comes too late,” writes Busse.
Stricken energy giant RWE revealed on Tuesday that it plans to spin-off a company focused on renewables and grids to raise capital, while retaining fossil and nuclear energy generation.

Find the article in German here.

Read a CLEW article on RWE’s plans here.

Read a CLEW dossier on utilities in the energy transition here.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Terium the tactician”

RWE CEO Peter Terium has proven to be an able tactician, Carsten Knop argues in a commentary for leading conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His move was again opening the company's access to capital - needed to finance growth areas such renewables. As RWE remained owner of the whole company, it seemed that Terium had incorporated lessons from some of E.ON's mistakes when preparing his own plan, according to Knop.

Find the commentary in German here.


Spiegel Online

“Expert warns government underestimates immigration in climate targets”

German emission forecasts risk becoming obsolete because they do not take into account the immigration of almost one million refugees, reports Stefan Schultz for Spiegel Online. “The high number of migrants will increase Germany’s CO2 emissions significantly,” economist Andreas Löschel from the University of Münster told Spiegel Online. “The German climate targets can probably only be reached with further measures for CO2 reduction.” Löschel heads an expert commission advising the government on the Energiewende’s progress and has written a short analysis on the migrants’ effect. The commission had already warned in November Germany’s targets are in serious danger – without taking into account the refugee crisis.

Read the article in German here.

Find a CLEW article on the expert commission’s latest monitoring report here.



“Germany pays to halt Danish wind power to protect own output”

German grid operator TenneT is paying generators in neighbouring Denmark to shut down to prevent an overload in its network because Germany’s wind farms are producing so much power, report Jesper Starn and Weixin Zha for Bloomberg. According to data from the Nord Pool Spot AS exchange in Oslo, TenneT paid Danish power producers to withhold 37 GWh of output in November, equivalent to a day of production from the region’s biggest nuclear reactor, write the authors. This compares to just 1.5 GWh a year earlier.

Read the article in English here.



“Climate Change: German and South African cities to tackle threat together”

The German city of Bremen has teamed up with Durban to share expertise in the fight against climate change, reports Dario Sarmadi in EurActiv. As part of an initiative funded by the Federal Development Ministry (BMZ), Bremen has been providing technical expertise and helping Durban use its urban resources more effectively. In the whole of Germany, there are already 50 so-called municipal climate partnerships and the number is rising, reports Sarmadi.

Read the article in English here.


New York Times

“The Dubious Carbon Budget”

Calculations involving future negative carbon emissions are “magical thinking, questionable accounting and dubious expectations”, writes Oliver Geden, head of the EU research division at the German Institute for International Security Affairs (SWP), in an op-ed for the New York Times. “The public has taken little, if any, notice of these considerations, and even policy makers are often unaware of the amount of negative emissions climate economists assume for the future... We need to be honest. This approach relies on some very dubious calculations and assumes the existence of technologies whose risks have not been adequately studied, let alone discussed publicly,” writes Geden. “Right now, we're on the verge of repeating the same mistake that led to the financial crisis: relying on economic models that are completely detached from what's going on in the real world.”

Read the article in English here.



“Unwilling head farmer”

Agriculture tops industry as Germany’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but the minister in charge seems unwilling to do much about it, writes Malte Kreutzfeld in the tageszeitung. Christian Schmidt, from the conservative CSU - sister party of Angela Merkel’s CDU - is against extending green farming and does not want to argue for less meat consumption. Instead of pushing for concrete changes, Schmidt wants to bet on research, writes Kreutzfeld.

Read the article in German here.


Rheinische Post

“Coal power can continue to be subsidised”

The grand coalition government parliamentary groups have agreed to enable subsidies for coal-fired power to heat plants beyond 2018, reports German news agency dpa. A law containing this provision is to be passed by parliament on Thursday, according to the report. The Green party’s Oliver Krischer said the government was playing a double game: “In Paris, it argues for more climate protection, while deciding to grant combined heat and power support to old and climate damaging coal plants.” 

Read the article in German here.

Find a CLEW factsheet on combined heat and power here.


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