13 Jul 2017, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Severe diesel accusations against Daimler / "My home, my power plant"

Süddeutsche Zeitung

German carmaker Daimler is accused of having sold more than one million cars with excess emissions for almost a decade, according to a recent search warrant, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. The company might have used defeat devices in certain motor models to prevent engines’ emissions control systems from working properly under real world conditions. As a result, the actual emission levels would be higher than in test situations, in which defeat devices are inactive.

Read the article in German here and a Reuters article on the topic in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world and the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

More and more carmakers are starting to offer power storage for domestic use in order to have a new source of revenue in times of uncertain e-car sales, Süddeutsche Zeitung writes. In addition to US manufacturer Tesla and Japanese competitor Nissan, German brands Daimler and BMW have entered the “rapidly changing” growth market, the article says. Carmakers are benefiting from the fact that older batteries can get a new lease on life once they become unusable in electric vehicles: once the batteries only have 75 percent of their initial capacity, they can no longer be used on the road but serve homeowners very well. In the basement, several storages can be connected because – unlike in a car – “the weight is irrelevant,” the article says. 

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers for background.

vzbv / bne / DNR / DMB / HDE / German Offshore Wind Energy Foundation

A reform of Germany’s system to finance the country’s Energiewende is needed to distribute costs more fairly and push renewable electricity use in heating and transport, writes a cross-sector alliance of associations in a joint statement. In comparison to energy sources in the heating and transport sectors, electricity today is “heavily burdened” by taxes and levies, which inhibit expanding the energy transition to those two sectors. The group proposes reallocating Renewable Energy Act (EEG) costs according to energy sources and sectors and based on the sources’ CO₂ emissions, which would bring down the EEG surcharge by outsourcing costs for industry exemptions to the federal budget, and abolishing the electricity tax. A CO₂ floor price in the power sector could further help bring down the EEG surcharge, writes the group. The alliance includes consumer, tenant, environment protection and trade associations.

Find the statement in German here.

For more information, see the CLEW factsheet Germany ponders how to finance renewables expansion in the future and the CLEW article German carbon tax most efficient way to meet climate goals – study.

Tagesspiegel Background

After the G20 summit in Hamburg, the governments of France and Germany should use the joint Ministerial Council meeting in Paris to establish the two countries as the “energy transition motor of the European Union”, writes Andreas Kuhlmann, chief executive of the German Energy Agency (dena), in a guest commentary in Tagesspiegel Background. The governments could develop a joint initiative for a price on CO₂, despite criticism that France – with its large share of nuclear power – would profit much more from this than Germany. “Not everything that doesn’t benefit Germany from the start has to be a bad thing,” writes Kuhlmann.

Read the guest commentary in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article German carbon tax most efficient way to meet climate goals -study and CLEW’s full coverage of the G20 Hamburg summit in this dossier.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

German homeowners installed about 25,000 power storages in their houses in 2016, more than in any other European country, but the real boom of “decentralised power supply” might only start in 2020, Stefan Mayr writes in Süddeutsche Zeitung. 2020 will be the year in which many owners of Germany’s 1.6 million solar panels start losing guaranteed feed-in allowances from the state, which is going to make using power from the panels for themselves more profitable than selling it on the market, Mayr says. By connecting storages, owners can also trade power between each other, he adds. “The storages are going to become much cheaper,” Alex Melzer of start-up Zolar GmbH told the newspaper, arguing that many more homeowners will buy a solar panel and a storage “not because for ecologic-idealistic reasons but because it makes sense economically.”

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW article Pilot project taps batteries & blockchain to iron out renewable power for more information.

pv magazine

A pilot project by energy provider EWE for solar panels on the balconies of tenant flats has shown that residents use the vast majority of the generated electricity for private use instead of selling it on the market, Michael Fuhs writes in pv magazine. “Tenants were able to cover about 20 percent of their total power use” with the solar panels, he says.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier Cities, municipalities, and the Energiewende for more information.

dpa /

Due to the decommissioning and dismantling of its nuclear power plants, German utility E.ON plans to cut about half of all jobs at its subsidiary PreussenElektra, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by website At least 1,000 jobs will be cut by 2026 at the company’s headquarter in Hannover and at other locations across Germany, the article says. 

Read the article in German here.

For background, see the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The municipal utility of Munich, SWM, is set to merge its natural gas business with a British company by founding a joint subsidiary in a billion-euro deal, Heiner Effern writes in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The name of SWM’s British partner “is still kept a strict secret”, Effern writes. It will primarily control the joint venture, which will also be located in the UK, he adds. SWM has invested about two billion euros in exploiting gas resources in the North Sea over recent years but technical problems and low gas prices have brought its activities there to a standstill, Effern says. “With a new, strong partner that is also active in the North Sea”, SWM is seeking to “avoid taking that kind of risk in the future”, he says.

Read the article in German here.

See the CLEW dossier Small but powerful – Germany’s municipal utilities and the CLEW factsheet Germany’s dependence on imported fossil fuels for background.

Weser Kurier

Wind power company Senvion has rejected a workers’ council job recovery plan and is set to move rotor manufacturing for its turbines from the northern German city of Bremerhaven to Portugal, citing increasing international competition and price pressure, writes Stefan Lakeband for local newspaper Weser Kurier. Almost 400 jobs are affected. The company had to be significantly more cost-effective, efficient and lean to be successful in the global market, a company spokesperson told Weser Kurier.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Onshore Wind Power in Germany.

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