12 Sep 2016
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Uniper's market debut / BMW seen shifting gears on e-cars


Shares in E.ON fossil power spin-off Uniper started trading at just over 10 euros at its market debut, toward the upper end of a range between 5.50 and 13.00 euros given by analysts, reports Reuters. “The closely watched listing, under which E.ON is floating 53.35 percent in the power generation and energy trading unit, is expected to provide deeper insight into the market value of ailing gas- and coal-fired power plants, Uniper's core assets.” E.ON shares tumbled 13 percent in early trade. But according to a report by news agency dpa-AFX, the E.ON shares were only one percent lower when adjusted for the spin-off.

Read the Reuters report in English here.

Find the dpa-AFX report in German here.

Find background information in the CLEW factsheet E.ON shareholders ratify energy giant's split.


Even the Uniper prospectus for its initial public offering (IPO) says that conventional power generation “faces the risk of disappearing completely from the market” in the long-term, writes Chris Bryant in a comment for Bloomberg. “It's not every company that announces its own birth by foreshadowing its death. But that's what makes the Uniper divorce such a landmark moment in the utilities world.” Still, that doesn’t mean there’s no value in the Uniper “bad bank”, according to Bryant. “The only question is how much is left and for how long […] Uniper is entering a brave new world but it remains a relic of the old one.”

Read the comment in English here.


German utility RWE said the planned initial public offering (IPO) of shares in its renewables, retail and network unit Innogy would also include some of the parent's existing shares, reports Reuters. It added that the exact number of shares to be sold was yet to be determined.

Read the report in English here.

Find background information in the CLEW factsheet RWE’s plans for new renewable subsidiary.


Premium German automaker BMW is planning a major electrification initiative to keep up with US rival Tesla, according to information obtained by business daily Handelsblatt. “In addition to the fully electric “i3” models, which have been in production since 2013, BMW will also offer fully electric versions of the Mini, the BMW3 series and the X4 SUV,” according to the report. The supervisory board is expected to approve the new electric models during a two-day meeting at the end of the month.

Read the article in English here.

Find more background in the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector

Spiegel Online

German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt has suggested communes should ban the use of diesel cars when nitrogen oxide levels are high, report Michail Hengstenberg and Gerald Traufetter in Spiegel Online. In a reply to a question by the Green party, the minister said current laws would permit general driving bans in such situations, adding that communes could exempt other types of engines – in effect imposing a diesel ban. After resisting plans for a “blue badge” diesel ban in affected cities, Dobrindt is now in favour of bans because this would shift the responsibility to regional states, according to the report.

Read the report in German here.


Federal environment minister Barbara Hendricks rebuked her cabinet colleagues, the Christian Social Union transport and agriculture ministers, for insufficient climate protection, writes Reuters. “Like the transport sector, agriculture – of course – is not on target when it comes to climate protection. […] The Climate Action Plan 2050 depends on wide support – also from these two sectors,” Hendricks said in the federal parliament (Bundestag) plenary, without naming her colleagues Alexander Dobrindt und Christian Schmidt.

Read the article in German here.

Read the CLEW factsheet Germany's trimmed-down Climate Action Plan and the CLEW article Ministry avoids concrete targets in weakened Climate Action Plan for background.


Talks between the federal government and the big four utilities E.ON, RWE EnBW and Vattenfall on nuclear waste storage are not as close to conclusion as a report by Börsen-Zeitung suggested, writes Reuters. The stock market newspaper had reported that the deal was close to conclusion and saw the energy companies pay 26.4 billion euros into a state-administered fund as early as the end of 2016. “We don’t know this figure and consider it false,” an RWE spokesperson told Reuters.

Find the Reuters article in German here.

Read the Börsen-Zeitung article in German here.

Also read the CLEW article Commission: nuclear utilities should pay 23.3 bn euros into fund and the CLEW factsheet Securing utility payments for the nuclear clean-up for background.


Germany’s fifth largest power producer STEAG plans to shut down about half of its power production capacity sooner than originally planned, writes Jürgen Flauger in the Handelsblatt. The company that operates several hard-coal power plants in the Ruhr region had planned to shut down many of its fossil power plant units due to old age by 2025. However, low wholesale power prices and changes brought on by Germany’s energy transition forced the company to economise, writes the Handelsblatt. “We will take power plants off the grid much faster than planned,” Joachim Rumstadt, managing director at STEAG, told the newspaper. He announced that 800 to 1000 jobs would be cut, about one in four at STEAG.

Read the article (behind paywall) in German here.

Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)

As China has begun to refocus the G20 energy agenda on sustainability, Germany should use its upcoming presidency to further boost the importance of energy within the intergovernmental institution, writes Andreas Kraemer in a policy brief for Canada-based think tank Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI). “Now Germany, host of the 2017 G20 summit, has an opportunity — and duty, along with the required credibility — to complete that shift,” for example by transferring the topic energy into the more important finance track (currently in ‘Sherpa track’), holding a G20 joint climate and energy ministers meeting and “focusing on G20 deep decarbonisation and energy transformation strategies.”  

Read the policy brief in English here.

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