25 Apr 2016
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

State chamber backs citizens' energy / 'Transport minister bows to auto industry'


“EEG reform: state chamber wants exemptions for citizens’ energy”

Germany’s second parliamentary chamber, which represents the 16 states, has passed a resolution calling for priority to be given to small, regional renewable projects in the new version of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) that is to be passed this summer, PV-magazine reports. In the new auction system, citizen-run projects should be given a guarantee to win and then receive the same remuneration as the highest winning bid, the chamber argued. This would guarantee a variety of actors in the renewable energy sector.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about the 2016 EEG reform here.



Manufacturers recall 630,000 cars

German car manufacturers are voluntarily recalling 630,000 diesel cars after the report of the transport ministry’s (BMVI) ‘VW Commission of Inquiry’ showed that other companies had extensively taken advantage of EU law to tweak their emissions data. Apart from the VW-case, the report found no additional illegal manipulations. But Audi, Porsche, Mercedes, VW and Opel used the so-called "thermal window", which refers to the time when carmakers are allowed by EU regulations to throttle back emissions management systems in order to protect the engine from damage.

Find the press release and a link to the investigation report by the BMVI in German here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“The consequences of the sleaze around politics and the auto industry”

“When it comes to emission values, many car companies are operating in a grey area: perhaps still legal, but dingy,” writes Karl-Heinz Büschemann in an opinion piece in Süddeutsche Zeitung. He criticises the strong ties between politicians and the auto industry that result in high tolerance by governments in the current scandals.

Find the opinion piece in Süddeutsche Zeitung in German here.


Die Linke

“Herbert Behrens: Dobrindt washes without wetting“

The left party parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Die Linke, criticises transport minister Alexander Dobrindt for his inaction towards the auto industry: “Mister Dobrindt acts like an agent of the auto lobby - consumers’ interests, as well as climate and environment protection, on the other hand aren’t part of his vocabulary.”

Find the press release in German here.



“Transport minister Dobrindt prevents solving the diesel emissions scandal”

The non-profit environmental and consumer protection association DUH criticises federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s waiver of an officially ordered recall as a “bow before the auto manufacturers” that harms consumer rights. “Because the federal government accepts [the use of the ‘thermal window’] as ‘still legal’, every car owner is obliged to individually defend his claims towards the manufacturers or dealers,” said Jürgen Resch, federal manager of the DUH.

Read the press release in German here.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

“Nuclear power in times of terror”

Islamists being interested in nuclear power stations is another human risk factor when handling nuclear energy, says Tobias Münchmeyer from Greenpeace Germany in a guest article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. Al-Qaida has in the past considered targeting the plants. Germany’s nuclear phase-out will limit the danger of terrorist attacks on working nuclear facilities, Münchmeyer says.

Read a CLEW interview about the influence of Chernobyl on Germany and other countries here.

Read a CLEW dossier about the nuclear phase-out in Germany here.


Frankfurter Rundschau

“The beginning of the end of nuclear power”

The fairy tale of secure nuclear power ended 30 years ago with the Chernobyl disaster, writes Viviane Raddatz from WWF in a guest article in the Frankfurter Rundschau. But it took another 25 years and another accident in Fukushima to get unwavering majority support in national parliament for the end of nuclear power.



“Many Germans believe that a serious nuclear accident is possible in Western Europe”

Eighty-five percent of Germans believe that a nuclear catastrophe like the one in Chernobyl 30 years ago could also happen in Western and Central Europe, a survey commissioned by Greenpeace showed. The poll was conducted with 1,012 people who in 1986 were at least 15 years old. Sixty-one percent of participants said that Chernobyl had made their view of nuclear power more negative. Sixty-six percent said that in 1986 they had been worried about what effects Chernobyl would have on them personally.

Read the press release in German here.

See the poll results in German here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Nuclear tax saving model”

Introducing a state-administered fund into which utilities pay their provisions for the nuclear clean-up could not only ensure that the tax payer doesn’t have to foot the bill for storing the utilities’ nuclear waste, but also help nuclear power station operators save billions in tax, writes Michael Bauchmüller in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. This way, the companies would get almost all the money that they pay into the fund back from the state. The issue has become a sticking point in the discussions of the commission on financing the nuclear clean-up, the author says.

Read a CLEW factsheet about securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up here.



“Contentious serve”

Wednesday, when the government commission on nuclear waste storage financing will present its decision, will be an important day for the German nuclear plant operators, writes Klaus Stratmann in an op-ed for the Handelsblatt. It is good that the commission will finally come up with an answer on how much money the utilities have to pay into a fund to cover the nuclear clean-up as it will give some reassurance to the markets, Stratmann says.


Die Welt

“Warm madness”

The German economy ministry is pushing for the installation of electric heat pumps in new homes, but for consumers this can mean higher power bills and costs for heating houses, writes Michael Fabricius in Die Welt. In the future, the heat pumps are to be operated with renewable power but on dark winter days they are mainly fed by coal-fired power stations, writes the author. Germany was exceeding the European standards and thereby making it difficult for the building industry to construct affordable new housing.

Read the article in German here.



“Global solutions”

Germany’s ambitious goals will not save the global climate if other countries do not follow suit, writes the president of the International Chamber of Commerce Germany, Werner Brandt in an opinion piece in Handelsblatt. “The federal government should put climate protection on the agenda of its G20-presidency 2017 and, together with other countries, push for a stronger international cooperation regarding climate protection,” writes Brandt.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Daimler aims to sell small electric trucks soon”

Car manufacturer Daimler AG aims to start with the large-scale production of electric trucks in the near future, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). “We haven’t yet set the exact year for market entry. But we’re not talking about 2025 here,” clarified the company’s manager for Asia Marc Llistosella. The trucks, designed for up to six tonnes, would help save operating costs, but will be comparably expensive, writes FAZ.

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Kerstine Appunn

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