29 Oct 2015, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Ellen Thalman

Suspend energy efficiency rules for refugee homes?

Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

“Energiewende: Industrial consumers can use power more flexibly”

German industry could make their power demand more flexible and thus reduce load by up to 6 gigawatt (GW), or 7 percent of German peak load, if it increased demand flexibility, German environment agency UBA says. Demand side management by steel and aluminium factories, chlorine electrolysis plants, refineries and the paper industry that moves the peak power demand to times when there is a large supply of wind and solar power, would reduce the need for conventional power station capacity and help to integrate renewables into the power system, the UBA found in a study.

Read the press release in German here and download the study here.


Die Welt

“Building ministers want to end energy saving”

Some of the building ministers from the 16 German states will suggest scrapping energy efficiency requirements for new buildings because of the high influx of refugees to Germany when they meet in Dresden this week, Michael Fabricius writes in Die Welt. A draft proposal by Schleswig-Holstein suggests putting the energy efficiency decree (EnEV 2016) on hold for three years while extra homes for up to 1 million refugees and their families have to be built. This would reduce costs for new buildings by 7-8 percent. Federal Environment and Building Minister Barbara Hendricks has so far opposed suspending efficiency requirements. But the building sector was assuming that she would reconsider her position after the Paris climate conference, Fabricius writes. Environmental groups warn that it would send out the wrong signal if Germany softened its efficiency targets before the international climate conference.

Read the article in German here.

Read a statement by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on energy efficiency here.


Kieler Nachrichten

“How much is green energy worth?”

German consumers will accept only moderate price rises for power before they stop supporting the country’s phase-out of nuclear and coal power, Carsten Schröder, from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), said at a conference in Kiel. People with low incomes had to use 1.5 percent of their salary to support the energy transition to renewable power sources, while people with higher incomes used 0.25 percent, the Kieler Nachrichten reports Schröder as saying. Ingrid Nestle, state secretary in Schleswig-Holstein’s energy transition ministry, said that the cost question was central to the energy transition. She added that the funding of renewables still meant that more revenue remained in the state, instead of “going into the pockets of oil sheiks and Gazprom”.

Read a CLEW factsheet on German household power prices here.

“One meter progress”

The law to “digitalise the Energiewende” is likely to be passed by government this November - and smart meters will be an important part of it, writes Hanna Gersmann for Smart meters measure the power consumption of a household every 15 minutes. The data is visible for the consumer and also goes to the power supplier. The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (VZBV) is sceptical as people will leave a digital trail and “lose yet more of their anonymity”. It was only a question of time before companies and insurances wanted to get hold of the data, the VZBV warns. The government argues that a smart grid will help the Energiewende. But a parliament report states that this would not require power usage data from every household, only from every street or building block.

Read the article in German here.


Die Welt

“Diesel cars will be tested on the road in the future”

Cars will no longer be tested for emissions in the laboratory as of 2017, but rather on the road, writes Andre Tauber of Die Welt. After the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal, EU member states have agreed to introduce rules that would require testing under realistic road conditions, according to the paper. But the agreement is actually considerably less stringent than the EU originally proposed, Tauber writes, because the automobile industry in the future will be able to deviate considerably from the legal limits. While the countries were in agreement about testing on the road, they disagreed on whether the legal limits should be the same as in the laboratory, because the road levels of nitrous gases can be as much as four times higher those that are measured in the lab, according to the article.

Read the article in German here.


German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

“Charging station regulations discussed in German cabinet”

The German government cabinet on Wednesday discussed technical minimum standards for building and operating public charging stations for electric automobiles, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy says. The regulation sets standards for the safe and interoperable construction and use of the stations and “contains clear, binding rules for plug and socket standards and secures the supervision of standards and technical safety”. The hope is that clarifying and ensuring the standards will draw more private investment in the area, and help expand the number of charging stations across Germany, economics minister Sigmar Gabriel said. The regulation means Germany is the first EU country to implement the 2014 EU directive on technical minimum standards, aiming to guarantee compatibility across Europe.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a statement by the Association of Energy Market Innovators (BNE) on charging points in German here.

Read a statement by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) in German here.


Agora Energiewende

“Energy costs retreat to long-term lows”

Consumer energy prices fell to five-year lows in September, driven by lower oil prices and cheaper imports due to a marginally higher euro rate, according the German think-tank Agora Energiewende*. Prices fell on average by 1.7 percent in September from August, after a 2.1 percent drop in August from July. This pushed prices down to those reached in January 2015, which were the lowest since December 2010.

Read the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet about consumer power prices here.

Read a CLEW Dossier about costs of the Energiewende here.



Climate award for ice cream manufacturer and hotel

Germany’s environment minister Barbara Hendricks has made ice cream manufacturer Florida-Eis, from Berlin, and the Creativhotel Luise, in Erlangen, members of the “association of climate action companies”. As members, the companies make ambitious and measurable climate action targets public.

Read the press release in German here.


*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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