19 Jul 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Edgar Meza Julian Wettengel

UN - Germany betrays Paris deal / EnBW moves towards nuclear exit

CORRECTION - In item on industry exemptions, clarifies in headline that industry applications for exemptions were for 2016, not for 2015. In item on renewable targets for 2020, fixes link to original source (

The Guardian

Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN special envoy on climate change and El Niño, has condemned the UK and Germany for introducing new support schemes for the fossil fuel industry that betray the Paris climate deal, Adam Vaughan writes in the Guardian. Robinson said the UK government introduced new tax breaks for oil and gas last year that would cost taxpayers billions while also cutting support for renewables and energy efficiency. She also criticised Germany for introducing new mechanisms that reward power companies which provide a steady supply of electricity, even if they are using diesel and coal.

Read the article in English here.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

German electric utilities company EnBW has asked the authorities for permission to shut down and dismantle its two remaining nuclear power stations, M. Bauchmüller and V. Bernau write in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Jörg Michels, head of EnBW’s nuclear power plant division, said the move underscored the group’s intention to implement Germany’s energy transition plan to phase out nuclear power. It remained unclear whether this would lead to an early nuclear phase-out for the company. EnBW’s Neckarwestheim 2 plant could remain in operation until 2022, while the Philippsburg 2 reactor has until 2019. But, in view of currently low revenues on power exchange, nuclear plant operators could choose an early exit.

Read the article in German here.

Read the EnBW press release in German here.

Germany is close to reaching its 2020 renewable energy target this year after generating 36.4 percent of electricity from renewables in the first half of 2016, Craig Morris reports on Germany is aiming for a 35 percent renewables share by 2020, not including power exports, unlike the 36.4 percent figure, which comprises energy exports. While Germany may fall slightly short of the target this year, renewable power production increased 5 percent year over year, which is likely to result in 34 percent after a 32.5 percent share in 2015, according to Morris.

Read the article in English here.

PV Magazine

The German government partially or fully waived the country’s renewable energy levy for 717 companies last year because of a special equalisation scheme to mitigate competitive disadvantages for energy intensive industries, Petra Hannen writes in PV Magazine. The report cites a reply by the government to a query by the Green party. The fee waivers resulted in savings of 3.4 billion euros, including 1.4 billion euros for the chemical industry, 579 million euros for the paper industry and 499 million euros for the steel sector. A total of 775 companies, including 195 chemical firms and 166 metal companies, applied for renewables levy exemptions.

Read the article in German here.

Read the German Bundestag release in German here.

Energy Post

With the most photovoltaic capacity in Europe, Germany has started to store excess solar energy to enhance local usage. In doing so, the country is piloting a renewable energy strategy that will benefit the rest of the world, Jeffrey Michel writes in Energy Post. Germany set a record last year with 41 percent of all new solar installations equipped with backup batteries. The country’s storage initiative could eventually provide great benefits globally, for example, in counterbalancing expected increases in air conditioning usage, writes Michel.

Read the article in English here.

Die Welt

Despite Germany’s recent reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the country’s wind power sector remains hopeful that new revisions to the law could soon follow Bundestag elections next year, Die Welt reports. Indeed, next year’s elections are the key goal for the industry, says Andreas Wellbrock, managing director of Germany’s Wind Energy Agency (WAB). Wellbrock condemns the high hurdles placed on the sector, namely the 100 million euros in guarantees necessary for wind projects, making them impossible for the middle-class developers. Lower Saxony economy minister Olaf Lies also criticised the decision to limit offshore wind parks as “absolutely wrong” for the country’s energy transition.

Read the article in German here.

Die Welt

Germany is far behind in sales of electric vehicles compared to its neighbours and countries around the world, Die Welt reports. While new registrations for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in Germany made up just 0.6 percent in the first half of 2016, the share in France was 1.47 percent, 1.36 percent in the UK and 1.54 percent in China. In Norway, incentives have resulted in a 28 percent share for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

Read the article in English here.


Apple and Google are becoming a growing threat for German automakers, Stefan Menzel writes in Handelsblatt. “There is a fear that automakers could end up the fifth wheel of the car,” says auto expert Stefan Bratzel of the Center of Automotive Management, adding that like Foxconn is for Apple, auto manufacturers could become simple suppliers for the IT sector. BMW, Daimler and VW have to keep up with the quickly evolving internet-based mobility technologies that will soon dominate the auto industry, Bratzel adds.

Read the article in German here.

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