04 Oct 2016, 00:00
Sören Amelang Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Unprofitable coal plants might close earlier/ BMW steps up e-car plans


Hard coal power plant closures in Germany are poised to accelerate because of decreasing profitability, report Weixin Zha und Rachel Morison for Bloomberg. “A quarter of hard coal-fired generation capacity in Europe’s largest economy may shut ahead of schedule if plant operators forgo spending on upgrades to keep ageing stations open, according to Nena AS, an Oslo-based energy consulting firm.” Steag, the nation’s fifth-biggest power producer, is considering shuttering at least five of its 13 German coal stations before plan, Juergen Froehlich, a spokesman for the utility, told Bloomberg.

Read the article in English here.


To counter ambitious plans from rivals VW and Daimler unveiled at the Paris Car Show last week, BMW is stepping up its electric mobility plans, reports Elisabeth Behrmann for Bloomberg. BMW will offer the first battery-powered model of its Mini brand from 2019, and an electric version of the X3 sport utility vehicle from 2020, CEO Harald Krüger told the news agency. “The variant of the popular X3 would push into the heart of BMW’s portfolio, signalling the company sees the technology as ready for the mainstream after bundling previous green-car offerings under the “i” subbrand,” writes Behrmann.

Read the article in English here.  

For background, read the CLEW article VW, Daimler take key step for e-mobility at Paris Car Show, as well as the factsheets Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility and Reluctant Daimler plans “radical” push into new mobility world.

Zeit Online

“Power duel on a level playing field”

General Motor’s German subsidiary Opel fell behind its traditional rival VW in recent years, but on electric mobility, the two will face each other on a level playing field, writes Peter Maahn in Zeit Online. VW’s e-car concept I.D. and the Opel model Ampera-e, showcased at the Paris Car Show, share many similarities, according to Maahn. But a crucial difference is that VW plans to launch the I.D. as late as 2020, whereas Opel will sell the European version of the Chevrolet Bolt from May 2017. It’s the first time in ages that Opel beats VW, writes Maahn.

Read the article in German here.

Frankfurter Rundschau

Divesting the capital of German foundations – about 100 billion euros in total – from fossil fuels would send a “strong and effective signal to the capital markets” and to the government to implement the Paris Agreement, writes Matthias Fiedler in Frankfurter Rundschau. “But the majority of foundations in Germany are sleeping through the debate about exiting fossil fuels,” unlike their counterparts in the US that “supply stimulus and ideas for progress” through their divestment efforts, writes Fiedler. “Yet, to be able to start the debate [on how the money could be invested in a global Energiewende], we need more transparency. Nobody knows how much foundation capital is invested in coal, gas and oil at the moment,” writes Fiedler.

The Huffington Post

Empowering individuals by allowing and enabling citizens’ energy projects could help “fill the gap left behind” by utility giants reluctant to invest in domestic renewable energy facilities, write Craig Morris and Arne Jungjohann for the US edition of The Huffington Post. Like Germany, the United States could benefit from such a development: “Renewables create local jobs and generate local tax revenue, thereby strengthening struggling rural communities in particular,” they write. “The Energiewende’s start as a grassroots movement appeals to many commonly held American values,” like individual freedom.

Read the article in English here.

Also read the CLEW dossier The People's Energiewende.

Die Welt

Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky’s purchase of Vattenfall’s German brown coal business, officially completed on Friday, is a bet that Germany will not end coal-fired energy production anytime soon, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. Kretinsky’s holding EPH believes that Germany will “not be able to renounce a relatively cheap energy source like lignite in the long-term”, according to Wetzel. The purchase of several lignite-fired power plants and associated open cast mines in the German region of Lusatia makes EPH Germany’s fourth biggest power plant operator, with an installed capacity of 8,000 megawatts, according to Wetzel.

Read the article in German here.

Find Vattenfall’s press release in English here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet Vattenfall's German brown coal: what's being sold and who wants to buy


German innovators have come up with an award-winning idea for a cooling system using water instead of environmentally harmful coolants, writes Katrin Terpitz in Handelsblatt Global Edition. “What’s innovative is the cooling agent – tap water that is placed under a vacuum. The eChiller avoids harmful coolants and lubricants, while saving on electricity at the same time,” writes Terpitz.

Read the article (behind paywall) in English here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Business associations comprising medium-sized companies are complaining about the burdens of Germany’s green power support system on their member companies, which – unlike energy intensive industries – are not exempt from levies like the renewables surcharge, writes Andreas Mihm in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The system should be changed from a levies to a budget-financed one, demands Ingeborg Neumann, president of the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry.

For  background, read the CLEW factsheet Industrial power prices and the Energiewende

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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