01 Apr 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Tesla's new 'electric invader' / RWE's 'most daring project'


“People’s e-car”

The premiere of Tesla’s new e-car “Model 3” might not only decide the future of the company, but the future of e-mobility, according to mass-daily Bild. “With the Tesla Model 3, e-cars have the chance to enter the mid-sized class,” car expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, Director of the Center Automotive Research, told the paper.

Read the article in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on the Energiewende in transport here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on Germany's modest progress in e-mobility here.



“Tesla sets the pace”

The new Tesla car is a particular challenge for BMW, because it is a direct competitor for the Munich company's bestselling “series 3”, writes Markus Fasse in a commentary for business daily Handelsblatt. BMW offers the e-car “i3”, but it can only drive 150 kilometres in a basic version, and the carmaker only plans an entirely new model in 2020, writes Fasse. “In contrast to the German car industry, Tesla bets consistently on e-cars and markets them in an attractive way,” according to Fasse. “For the German car industry, it’s high time to take the market seriously. Otherwise, Tesla’s success will become a threat.”


manager magazin

“Why the Model 3 is not an automobile revolution”

Tesla’s new car will probably not open the mass market for e-cars, and it does not lift e-mobility to a new level, writes Michael Freitag in a commentary for manager magazine. The new car doesn’t solve the range issue, which remains e-mobility’s most serious weakness, according to Freitag. Conventional competitors can tank up in five minutes, and drive three or even four times as far.  “Not exactly an argument in favour of the electric invader…what’s needed next (for e-mobility’s success) are many more and much better charging stations and batteries. But not the next car.”  

Read the commentary in German here.


Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Autobahn instead of trains”

Environmental groups are heavily critical of transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s current draft of the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the president of Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) Hubert Weiger calls the plan a “farce” in view of the government's climate goals, as it focusses too much on repairing and building new roads instead of further developing the rail system. Markus Balser of the Süddeutsche Zeitung sees the current draft as mere patchwork repair: “There is a lack of a master plan for environmentally friendly and sustainable transport. As with the Energiewende, pressure is mounting for a fundamental change in the mobility sector,” he writes in a commentary. Every 15 years, the German government develops a long-term plan for building and redeveloping roads, railways and waterways.

Read the article in German here.

Read the commentary in German here.

Find the BUND press release here.



“RWE launches future-oriented business with new subsidiary”

RWE’s split into two companies became reality on Friday. With around 40,000 employees, the new subsidiary will pool RWE’s renewables, grids and retail operations and generate annual revenues of around 40 billion euros, RWE said. RWE wants to announce a permanent name and branding for the new company in the summer - until then, it bears the name “RWE International SE”.
The initial public offering of the subsidiary is scheduled to take place by the end of the year, but RWE said the exact date will depend on market conditions. It will be headquartered in Essen, where the parent company RWE AG is also based.
The renewables subsidiary will be headed by Peter Terium, who will also retain his position as RWE CEO for an interim period. After the IPO, his current deputy Rolf Martin Schmitz will succeed him at the helm of RWE AG. Terium said the restructuring was a “mammoth task” and added the new group intended not to simply keep up with the competition, but “to take a pioneering role and shape the energy market of the future.”

Read the RWE press release in English here.

Read a CLEW article about RWE’s plans here.

Find a CLEW dossier on the utilities’ troubles with the Energiewende here.


Frankfurter Rundschau

“Tour de force of the utilities”

RWE’s split is "the most daring project in the history of Germany’s energy industry," writes Frank-Thomas Wenzel in the Frankfurter Rundschau. The partial sale of the new renewable and grid subsidiary by year-end is meant to bring in cash for renewables investments. “The company is teetering on the brink of the abyss. This is symptomatic of the whole sector,” writes Wenzel. Among Germany’s four biggest utilities, RWE delayed its restructuring the longest. Instead, the company invested in superfluous fossil power plants, creating massive overcapacities, according to Wenzel. “There are doubts about the chances of the latecomer. Many renewables competitors have a large head start.”   

Read the article in German here.



Dawn of a new era for RWE

RWE’s transformation is the dawn of a new era for the company, but at first glance, not much will change, writes Rolf Schraa for German press agency dpa. Previously the company did not take its renewables business seriously, but now the new subsidiary is built around it. The Essen-based company can only invest one billion euros into the renewables business within three years, whereas E.ON has earmarked three times as much, writes Schraa.


Spiegel Online

“Federal government subsidises environmentally harmful heating oil systems”

“Despite the climate protection goals, heating oil systems continue to be generously subsidised by the state,” writes Spiegel Online, referring to the reply of the federal government to an inquiry by the Left Party's energy spokesperson, Eva Bulling-Schröter. Through the CO₂-Building Rehabilitation Programme aimed at energy efficiency, about 52 million euros in the form of grants and loans were handed out by the government-owned financing institution KfW in 2015, while sales of renewables-based systems dropped. “Subsidising heating oil systems clearly provides the wrong incentives for climate protection,” said Bulling-Schröter.

Read the article in German here.

Find the reply of the federal government to the inquiry by Bulling-Schröter here.


BDEW / Süddeutsche Zeitung

Eco-heating not more expensive

According to a 2016-study commissioned by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), heating systems powered at least partly through renewable energy sources are not necessarily more expensive than systems that run on fossil fuels. This runs contrary to the general belief that eco-friendly heating involves higher costs, writes Ralph Diermann in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. However, he points out that the price for heating oil has gone down since the evaluation period of the study, which makes these systems more attractive. Only 19 percent of newly installed heating systems in 2015 are powered at least partly by renewables, down from 45 percent in 2008.

Find a summary and a link to the full study in German here.

Read the Süddeutsche Zeitung article in German here.


KfW / Süddeutsche Zeitung

“More money”

With about 100,000 euros in low-interest loans per residential unit, the government-owned financing institution KfW is doubling its funding for energy-efficient new construction, the KfW writes in a press release. This is in line with the federal government’s plans to cut the energy demand of buildings in Germany 80 percent by 2050, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung. At the same time, standards for the subsidies were raised. “What used to be especially energy-efficient and eligible for the grants, is now standard,” Marlies Hopf of the Brandenburg consumer organisation told the newspaper.

Read the press release in English here.

Read the article by Süddeutsche Zeitung in German here.

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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