Trump victory "wake-up call" for climate policy / VW battery factory
Germany and other European countries need to “move ahead” with their climate commitments and should “intensify their efforts” following the election of Donald Trump, which has made international climate diplomacy far less predictable, said climate policy expert Lutz Weischer from NGO Germanwatch in an interview with Deutsche Welle. The fact that the adoption of Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 was blocked due to an intervention of economy minister Sigmar Gabriel on the day of Trump’s election “very disappointing”, said Weischer. He called on the German government “to change course and approve a climate plan within the next few days” as Trump’s victory needed to be understood “as a wake-up call” for European energy and climate policy-makers.
Read the interview in English here
Europe’s largest carmaker VW will build its first factory for battery production in Germany, fulfilling a key employee demand, reports newswire dpa. VW CEO Matthias Müller confirmed the plans but did not want to say how many people will work in the new factory. According to the report, it seems likely that VW will buy battery cells from a supplier and only assemble them into batteries.
Read the report in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility, the article VW, Daimler take key step for e-mobility at Paris Car Show, as well as the dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.
European Union Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič hopes to be able to present the planned package with proposals to change the EU’s energy and climate regulations before the end of the year. The comprehensive energy union package would include regulation proposals on energy efficiency, eco design and an EU power market design, Šefčovič said at an event organised by news outlet EurActiv in Berlin. It would also include reports on energy prices as well as the “sensitive topic” of capacity mechanisms in the individual EU member states, said Šefčovič.
For background information also read the CLEW dossier Germany's energy transition in the European context.
Social Democratic economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has lost his credibility regarding climate and environment policy with his last-minute decision to block an agreement on Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050 out of consideration for unions and industry, writes Michael Bauchmüller in an opinion piece for Süddeutsche Zeitung. “According to his own analysis, the SPD’s gains among the ecologically interested electorate can’t come close to compensating the losses triggered within the traditional working class through green policy,” writes Bauchmüller.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
Also read the CLEW article Coal exit dispute delays Germany’s Climate Action Plan and the CLEW factsheet Germany’s trimmed-down Climate Action Plan for background.
Even if the German government approves a climate plan similar to the latest drafts that became public, it would not be enough to reach climate targets set out in the Paris Agreement, writes Hans-Josef Fell, former member of the German Bundestag and president of the Energy Watch Group (EWG), in an opinion piece for pv magazine. “This federal government becomes more and more a bad climate sinner that rejects climate protection,” writes Fell.
Read the opinion piece in German here.
Major German utility EnBW confirmed its forecast for the year 2016 of an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) five to ten percent below last year’s result [2.1 billion euros], the company said in a press release. After the first nine months of the year, the operating result fell 16 percent below the 2015 value, which EnBW attributed to “temporary effects in the area of power generation” that would be “balanced out by the end of the year.” The group profit attributable to shareholders of 50.6 million euros was substantially lower than the 998.1 million euros in 2015, when the result was “strongly influenced” by “one-off capital gains on disposal of securities”, EnBW added.
Read the company’s press release in English here.
Read more on German energy providers during the Energiewende in the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.
Germany plans nationwide investments in infrastructure for vehicles powered by electricity, natural gas and fuel cells, the Federal Ministry of Transport (BMVI) said in a press release. “With investments of about one billion euros we will take the lead in Europe”, transport minister Alexander Dobrindt said. The national strategic framework envisages equipping all major motorway service areas with fast battery charging stations and a further 5,000 to 10,000 regular charging stations throughout the country.
Read the press release in German here.
The anticipated net immigration of about 2.5 million people by 2020 will boost Germany’s power consumption by roughly 650 million kWh or 0.5 percent of current household power consumption, according to economic research institute RWI Essen. “This increase runs counter to the government’s energy concept” that envisages a decrease by ten percent in 2020 vis-à-vis 2008, the RWI Essen writes. The researchers estimate that about half of the immigrants will remain in Germany for a prolonged time and will form about 250,000 households with at least four people and a comparatively low power consumption of 2,595 kWh annually.
Find the RWI’s press release in German here.
auto motor sport
BMW’s new model from its e-car “i” sub-brand, which will be able to drive up to 750 kilometres on one charge, will likely hit the market as late as 2021, reports auto motor sport. The range of a basic version will be 550 kilometres and can be upgraded to 750 kilometres for a higher price. The model, dubbed iNext, will also have advanced capabilities to drive autonomously. “The iNext will prove our leadership claim in these technologies,” BMW’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich, told the magazine.
Read the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Early e-car starter BMW plans new mobility sprint.
Mercedes-Benz is launching a sharing platform for private cars of all brands in Munich at the start of December. “Croove is the name of the new app-based service that pairs up private vehicle owners and hirers,” Daimler said in a press release. “By founding the new car-sharing platform Croove, Mercedes-Benz is giving further impetus to the mega trend of the sharing economy that promotes sharing rather than owning. The crucial difference compared with car-sharing models like car2go is that Croove now lets private vehicle owners share their car too.”
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.