“Energiewende in transport a long time coming”
Fundamental political steps to relocate and avoid traffic and push alternative fuels and engines are needed to make the energy transition a success in the lagging transport sector, according to a meta-analysis by Green Budget Germany (FÖS) for the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE). The study underlines that transport remains the "problem child" of climate policy, and that the government’s short-term aims for reducing final energy consumption and climate emissions seem out of reach, according to a press release.
Find the study in German here.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“When the car companies’ tricks are not allowed anymore”
The car industry fears stricter tests on emissions in the EU - but this development will also produce winners among suppliers, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The EU’s emission limits for 2020, in combination with more realistic tests, would be “brutal” for the car companies, said Martin Hirzel, CEO of Swiss supplier Autoneum. But he told the paper this scenario would offer opportunities for growth, as car companies would have to use lighter materials to meet standards. Erwin Mayr, head of American supplier Novelis’ operations in Europe, also stressed that the VW scandal offered many opportunities for his company, as manufacturers would increasingly replace parts made of steel with aluminium.
“Massaging the numbers”
There are many calls for state subsidies to usher in an era of electric cars, but the vehicles are not necessarily an environmentally sound alternative, writes Marie Tuil in Süddeutsche Zeitung. The production of an electric car causes 60 percent more CO2 emissions than that of a vehicle with a conventional combustion engine, according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP). This is mainly down to emission-intensive mining of some battery materials, as well as increased use of aluminium, which is very energy intensive and damaging to the environment when mined. Whether the use of an electric car can make up for these disadvantages depends on the mileage and whether green power is used for charging, writes Tuil.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“RWE does not find investors”
Struggling utility RWE is having trouble finding investors for its projects, CEO Peter Terium told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We need money for growth. At the moment, we don’t get any,” he said, adding that political uncertainty was to blame. “An American investor who puts one euro into RWE today cannot be certain the money is really used for growth or will have to be spent elsewhere because politics changes the basic parameters.” But Terium added the company had secured enough liquidity until the end of the decade.
Find excerpts from the interview in German here.
“Green Party: Quickly to 100 percent renewable power”
Germany’s Green Party sticks to its goal to aim for 100 percent renewable power by 2030, reports Klimaretter.info. At the party’s convention, delegates rejected a proposal by Robert Habeck, Schleswig-Holstein’s energy transition minister, and some other high-ranking members, to drop the target, which even most renewables lobbyists consider unrealistic. Habeck had argued to refocus on advancing the energy transition in transport and heating.
Read the article in German here.
COP21 – Road to Paris
Federal Statistical Office (Destatis)
“Use of greenhouse gases slightly up in 2014”
German businesses last year increased their use of greenhouse gases. Companies used 9,274 tonnes of fluorocarbons, which are classified as climate-relevant greenhouse gases, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). This was a slight increase of about 130 tonnes, or 1.4 percent, on a year earlier. In addition, approximately 916 tonnes of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6), a greenhouse gas with an extremely strong impact on the climate, were sold for further processing in 2014. This was a 13 percent increase on the previous year, according to the press release.
Find the press release in English here.
“Climate target threatens steel workers”
The Paris climate summit must create uniform and binding environmental standards on a global scale so energy-intensive industries are not forced out of Europe by ambitious climate policies, argues Wolfgang Eder, CEO of Austrian steel company Voestalpine and president of the worldsteel association, in a commentary in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. A Paris agreement with nothing more than voluntary pledges would be a lazy compromise and a provocation for all observers, according to Eder. “Should Europe insist on its single-sided leading role, even though it is not even responsible for ten percent of global CO2 emissions, this would have unforeseeable long-term consequences for prosperity, social standards and political peace,” writes Eder. “The refugee crisis and the restructuring of Europe as a financial centre pose enough challenges.”