25 Oct 2017, 00:00
Sören Amelang Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Tipping point for e-mobility/ Expensive power / Majority for coal exit

Clean Energy Wire

The global shift to electric mobility will reach a critical point in a little over 10 years, according to VW head Matthias Müller. “We will see a global tipping point around 2030,” Müller said at an annual car industry summit organised by business daily Handelsblatt. Müller insisted the German car industry, and his company in particular, would play a leading role in the transformation, due to large sales volumes. “Anyone who believes the glory days of the German car industry are over is wrong,” Müller said. “We will be the ones shaping tomorrow’s mobility. We are determined to lead, not to follow.” He added that VW will also continue to develop petrol and diesel engines, as well as hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Find background in the factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility and the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

Clean Energy Wire / Green Party / FDP / Reuters

In a second round of coalition talks, representatives from CDU, CSU, FDP and the Green Party agreed on “a common working basis” in the areas of budget, finances and taxes, Green leader Cem Özdemir said in a video message after the meeting. A paper published on Twitter by several participants shows the parties agreed not to increase Germany’s public debt, and to cut taxes for low-incomes households and those with children. On energy and climate policy, a “Jamaica” coalition would fund energy-efficient home renovations, and cut subsidies. “We will especially examine subsidies that contradict the climate goals,” the paper says. In 11 further meetings, the parties will identify and balance investment needs in all areas. The CDU, CSU, FDP and Green Party are now weighing up the possibility of entering official coalition negotiations, which could start mid-November and last into 2018.

Watch the Greens’ video in German here, find the agreement in German in this Twitter post, and find the Reuters article in English here.

Stay up to date with CLEW’s coalition watch and find background in the factsheet The long road to a new government coalition in Germany.


The economically liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) will push for a market-oriented system to pay for renewable energy, and wants to get rid of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and the surcharge for renewables on consumer power prices, Hermann Otto Solms, a member of the FDP negotiating team in the ongoing coalition talks, writes. Solms says the renewables surcharge is a subsidy that costs consumers – and small- and medium-sized businesses in particular – billions. The FDP also wants to reduce the electricity tax.
The possible coalition parties (CDU/CSU, FDP and Green Party) will discuss energy, climate and the environment in exploratory talks on Thursday, 26 October.

Read the statement in German here.

For the latest developments in the coalition building process click here.


Household electricity costs will reach a high in 2017, price comparison site Verivox has calculated. The average annual price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) will be 28.18 cents, 3 percent more than in 2016 and up from 17.81 cents in 2004. This means a family of three with an annual consumption of 4,000 kWh will pay around 30 euros more for electricity in 2017, the authors say. The power price has risen because of costs for grid expansion and renewable installations, Verivox says. It adds that consumers could save around 400 euros per year by switching to cheaper suppliers.

Read the press release in German here.

See a CLEW factsheet on what German households pay for power here.

72 percent of Germans want the new government to implement a step-by-step exit from coal-fired power generation, according to a survey by YouGov for WWF and green power provider LichtBlick. YouGov polled 2052 people in September 2017. 41 percent said they want the coal exit to happen as quickly as possible. 56 percent said the most pressing issue was a faster renewables expansion, and 47 percent would like to see support for climate-friendly alternatives in the transport sector, such as buses, trains and cycling. 30 percent said carmakers should be legally obliged to introduce more e-cars in all price categories.

Read the press release in German here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Low interest rates are tempting large investors to energy-related businesses such as district heating networks and wind farms, Phillip Krohn and Markus Frühauf write in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. As an example, the authors cite insurance company Munich Re acquiring the district heating network in North-Rhine Westphalia from utility Steag. Most insurance companies in Europe have invested in renewable energy installations by now because they fit well with their long-term payment obligations in health- and life insurance schemes, the article says.

Read the article in German here.

The Federal Association for Brown Coal (DEBRIV) says a legal opinion stating that a coal exit would be constitutional is superficial and draws the wrong conclusions. Law firm BeckerBüttnerHeld (BBH) and think tank Agora Energiewende* said on Monday that the government could introduce a speedy coal exit without having to pay compensation to operators of plants older than 25 years, because these had usually been written off. In a press release, DEBRIV argues that older plants are covered by the constitutional protection of property as much as younger plants. It also says the legal advice didn’t take into account the economic and social repercussions a coal phase-out would have on Germany’s mining regions.

Read the press release in German here.

Find the summary and links to the legal opinion (in German) here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on the issues of a German coal phase-out here.

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

Clean Energy Wire

The development of flying robot taxis is a logical step given cities around the globe are plagued by traffic jams, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said at an annual car industry summit organised by business daily Handelsblatt. “The possibilities of extending cities’ infrastructure are limited,” Zetsche said. Given that people-carrying drones will likely be battery-powered, relatively safe, and quiet, a “move into the third dimension” made perfect sense, Zetsche said. “This is why we have invested in [German flying robot taxi start-up] Volocopter.”

Find background in the factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.

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Sven Egenter

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