“Union demands lignite fund”
Mining union IG BCE argues Germany will need lignite power production until 2047 and should create a fund to finance the technology after it stops earning money in about 15 years, reports Antje Höning in Rheinische Post. “We need a construct that will enable us to operate lignite as a bridge technology for decades,” said IG BCE head Michael Vassiliades. This could help “to secure the necessary reserves for decommissioning and recultivation”. He said his union was in discussions with the responsible ministries about a proposal to transfer the plants and mines into a public fund. Höning writes the proposal implies the plants will earn money in the coming years, which she says is questionable. She also doubts that the investors envisioned in the proposal can be found, and that consumers might end up paying for a financial shortfall.
Greenpeace said in a commentary that the lignite exit was required by 2030 if Germany was to reach its climate targets. “Vassiliadis is wrong to believe that lignite companies still have 15 years of plenty ahead to earn the money for follow-up costs,” said Greenpeace energy expert Karsten Smid in a statement.
Read the article in German here.
Find background on Germany’s coal exit debate in the latest CLEW article on the subject here.
Federal Grid Agency
"Support levels for onshore wind and biomass decrease again"
Support for onshore wind energy plants will be reduced by 1.2 percent and biomass by 0.5 percent as of 1 July, the Federal Grid Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) has announced. At 3,564 megawatts, the net expansion of onshore wind capacity is above the upper limit of the deployment corridor, according to the agency.
Find the press release in German here.
“Utilities block nuclear compromise”
Germany’s commission on the financing of the nuclear exit has negotiated a compromise, but the utilities do not want to agree on it yet, reports Dagmar Dehmer in Tagesspiegel. So the commission has agreed with economy minister Sigmar Gabriel to initially extend its work, according to Dehmer.
Find the article in German here.
Read a CLEW factsheet on the nuclear clean-up costs here.
“Automakers would share German Electric car incentive plan cost”
Germans could get up to 5,000 euros to buy an electric car, with the car industry shouldering 40 percent of the costs, report Tina Bellon and Markus Wacket for Reuters. Government sources told the authors the incentive plan was put together by the environment, transport and economy ministries, but still needed approval from the finance ministry. “Under the proposal seen by Reuters, businesses would receive premiums of 3,000 euros for each electric car under a program that runs to 2020. Incentives will fall by 500 euros each year.”
According to a report on Spiegel Online, the incentive may be paid out from July. The plan also involves the construction of 15,000 charging stations, investments in battery research and a quota for e-cars in the federal government’s car fleets, according to the report.
Read the report in English here.
Find the Spiegel Online report in German here.
Read a CLEW dossier on Germany’s troubles with an Energiewende in transportation here.
“Number of electric cars worldwide climbs to 1.3 million”
Electric mobility is making significant inroads world-wide, with the number of electric cars around the globe rising by almost 750,000 to around 1.3 million, according to an assessment by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden Württemberg (ZSW). “While China saw the steepest rise with more than 200,000 new vehicles last year, the USA has the world's biggest fleet overall with more than 400,000 electric vehicles on the road. With 55,250 electric cars, Germany continues to lag far behind countries such as Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and France.”
Find the press release in English here.
“Weak start of the year for plug-in electric car sales in Germany”
January brought a 16 percent increase in year-over-year plug-in electric car registrations in Germany to 1,453 cars. All-electric cars lost momentum with a decrease of 28 percent, while the number of plug-in hybrids rose 65 percent.
Find the article in English here.
“Tesla drives on ahead”
Until recently, German carmakers considered the competition from Tesla with scepticism as exotic niche products, but now they increasingly copy the principle of pure electric vehicles, writes Nikolaus Doll in Die Welt. BMW, Audi, Opel, Porsche, and Daimler all work on pure electric vehicles. “This principle will prevail in the end,” writes Doll. He says hybrids have only recently entered the mass market, but are already phase-out models. “When we buy a new car in five or six years, it will very likely be a pure electric vehicle.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“Expensive power reserve”
The operators of a highly modern gas power plant in Southern Germany will fight in court for an increase in the compensation they receive for not being allowed to close the unprofitable station, reports Helmut Bünder in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The Irsching plant is categorised as systemically relevant and only used for Re-dispatch operations by grid operators, but it has not sold any electricity on the market for more than two years, according the owners. Bünder writes in a commentary that the compensation should cover the utilities’ real costs to keep the plant operational. But they should not receive more, because power consumers would have to cover additional costs, argues Bünder.
Read a CLEW Factsheet on Re-dispatch costs here.