01 Aug 2016, 00:00
Kerstine Appunn Julian Wettengel

Transport plan ‘harmful to the climate’ / Less demand for green power

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt’s transport infrastructure plan 2030 is harmful to the climate, several members of the Green group in the Bundestag have told Chancellor Angela Merkel, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. “The transport minister’s draft ignores almost everything that has ever been agreed upon in terms of climate and environment protection,” they say in a letter. Environment minister and social democrat Barbara Hendricks has also criticised the draft, writes the newspaper. The infrastructure plan should “play its part in reaching important environment, and especially climate, targets”, said Hendricks.

Read the article in German here.

Energie & Management / dpa

The demand by German households for power contracts offering electricity generated only from renewable sources has declined, according to a survey by Energie & Management, reports dpa. Customer numbers dropped from 5 million households in 2013 to 4.4 million in 2015, while sales for green power contracts fell from 29.6 billion euros to 21.2 billion euros in the same period for the surveyed suppliers. One reason for the decline could be the existing large share of renewables in the general German power mix. If regular contracts already contained green electricity, customers might not feel the need to opt for a purely green power contract, Udo Sieverding of the Consumer Association North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) told dpa.

Read a CLEW factsheet on what German households pay for power.

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)

In an effort to promote energy efficiency in the heating sector, the federal economy ministry (BMWi) today started two programmes to support highly efficient heating pumps and fuel-cell heaters, according to a press release. “We are bringing energy efficiency into German boiler rooms on a large scale,” said economy minister Sigmar Gabriel. With up to two million heating pumps replaced and 200,000 heating systems optimised each year until 2020, the ministry aims at saving 1.8 million tons of CO2-emissions. Additionally, the ministry wants to establish stationary fuel-cell heaters in the market as a “future-oriented technology for the simultaneous generation of power and heat”, according to the press release.

Find the press release in German here.

Read a CLEW dossier on the Energiewende and Efficiency.


German utility RWE has forecast EBITDA profits of between 4.1 and 4.4 billion euros in 2016 for its new renewable subsidiary innogy (currently ‘RWE International SE’). The figure is lower than the 4.5 billion euro figure it recorded in 2015, according to an investor relations announcement. For 2017, RWE expects EBITDA of 4.3-4.7 billion euros. The utility also confirmed its outlook for the whole RWE group in the current year, predicting EBITDA of 5.2-5.5 billion euros.

Read the investor relations announcement in German here.

Read a CLEW factsheet on RWE’s plans for its renewable subsidiary.

Die Welt

EU Commissioner in charge of Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič says that the auto industry “must finally get moving” and make considerable progress in the area of zero emission vehicles, according to an article in Die Welt. “With the combustion engine the European auto industry is top, but when it comes to alternative drives, it lacks behind,” Šefčovič told the newspaper. “To reach the Paris climate targets, we should increase the share of zero emission cars to 20 percent by 2030,” he said. “In 2050, 50-60 percent of cars should drive emissions free.” Two weeks ago, the EU Commission had published a strategy on low-emission mobility, but without concrete targets, writes Die Welt.

Read the article in German here.

Read the CLEW dossier on the energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Little good will come of Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050, writes Jan Heidtmann in an op-ed for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. If used as a basis for implementing the Paris Agreement, the plan would see the country ending the sale of conventional fossil-fuelled powered cars in 14 years. But instead the economy minister and the chancellery office have cut it back so much that the government’s ambitious climate targets will not be achievable anymore, Heidtmann says.

Read a CLEW factsheet about the Climate Action Plan 2050.

Yale Environment 360

The cost for the clean-up and storage of Germany’s nuclear waste and other radioactive material is hard to predict, controversial and will be much higher than current official calculations suggets, writes Joel Stonington in an article for Yale Environment 360. Especially problematic is finding and building a final repository. “Nobody can say how much it will cost to store high-level waste,” said Claudia Kemfert of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). “What we know is that it will be very costly – much higher costs can be expected than [what] the German ministry calculates.”

Read the article in English here.

Find out more about Securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up and nuclear clean-up costs in general in these CLEW factsheets.

taz – die Tageszeitung

Green and left-wing politicians in the Bundestag and state governments want to extend the nuclear fuel rod tax, Bernward Janzing reports in taz. The tax is payable by nuclear power station operators whenever they use new fuel elements in their reactors and adds 144 million euros to state coffers per year. But the tax will be phased out at the end of 2016 unless the government decides to extend it. While the environment ministry, led by a Social Democrat, favours the extension, the finance ministry under conservative minister Wolfgang Schäuble opposes it. In the end the tax could become part of a legislative package on how the payments for the nuclear clean-up are divided between utilities and the state, Janzing writes.

Read the article in German here.

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


The government admits that the sale of 300,000 electric vehicles under the new “environment bonus” scheme will do little to reduce emissions, writes Kevin P. Hoffmann in the Tagesspiegel. And the 1.2 billion euro plan, which will see buyers receive a subsidy of 3000-4000 euros per e-car, is also yet to take off, he adds. Since starting at the beginning of July, only 1523 applications have been made – if demand remains as low, it will take 16 years before the 300,000 vehicles are on the road.

Read the article 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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