Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The energy and coal industry is happy about the new, weakened language in the draft version of the Climate Action Plan 2050, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes. Share prices of energy companies E.ON and RWE have increased in the past days – against the common trend on the market. One of the reasons for the rise is likely to be that the climate plan does not proscribe a clear end date for the use of coal power or specific greenhouse gas reduction targets for each sector anymore.
Neither the addition of gas-fired power plants in southern Germany nor a sharp decrease in power production from lignite in eastern Germany would limit the need for new power grid infrastructure, a study by Prognos AG, RWTH Aachen, E-Bridge and FGH on behalf of transmission grid operator 50Hertz found. The researchers looked at different scenarios for the future power supply and the necessary grid infrastructure. Further grid expansion was also needed in an Energiewende-world of many decentralised solar PV installations and small battery storage, 50 Hertz said in a press-release. The north and east of Germany will in the future produce much more power than it consumes, the study showed. But in the scenario of a “delayed” or “incomplete” energy transition, Germany could also become a net-importer of electricity.
Technicians from Germany’s largest automobile club ADAC have found in recent tests that older VW Golf models can have a much higher fuel use than purported and, therefore, also higher CO2 emissions, Thomas Fromm writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Up to 30 out of 53 of the tested cars were emitting too much CO2 when the transport ministry checked. The ministry has not yet made these results public, saying it has to repeat the tests with new cars first. It is not clear when the results will be made available, the author says.
Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
The ordinance on premiums payable to those who purchase an electric vehicle is coming into force on 2 July, and will apply retroactively from the 18 May 2016. Economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a press release that the premium would be an incentive to make e-cars part of everyday life and give a boost to the whole value chain of e-mobility in Germany. Buyers of purely electric cars will receive a premium of 4,000 euros, plug-in-hybrid cars receive a support of 3,000 euros.
Read the press release in German here.
Stiftung Mercator/European Climate Foundation/Agora Verkehrswende
Tackling carbon emissions in the transport sector is the necessary and logical next step for Germany following from its energy transition, said the former head of the UN environment programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner at the launch event of the Agora Verkehrswende, a new think tank aimed at driving the decarbonisation of mobility. He stressed that the efforts were not only part of climate protection but also crucial for the future success of Germany’s renowned carmakers. Other countries had taken the lead on some of the cutting-edge low-carbon technologies. “The business location Germany has to ask itself what will be the mobility platform of the future and who will be the main competitors,” Steiner said. Steiner will chair the council of the think tank, a regular platform where representatives of national, regional and local governments, industry, environmental groups, science and civil society will meet to discuss the challenges and solutions of the path towards a zero-emission mobility system. Speaking at the same event, German environment state secretary Jochen Flasbarth said that the world was still “galaxies” away from sustainable mobility. Given the goal of a largely carbon-emission free economy by 2050, Germany effectively had to end the use of combustion engines in new cars by 2030, Flasbarth said. The director of Agora Verkehrswende, Christian Hochfeld, stressed the need for specific emission reduction targets for the transport sector. The new think tank is a joint initiative of the Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation, who also fund the energy transition think tank Agora Energiewende and the Clean Energy Wire.
Find the media release on the European Climate Foundation’s website.
“Little will change on the European continent due to the decision of the British people, including when it comes to the climate and energy agency,” writes Sabrina Schulz in the blog of climate and energy think tank E3G. In Germany, the fight over the future of coal and the 2050 decarbonisation roadmap will continue, while the EU will strive to implement its 2030 targets. Here Britain will be missed as a “force for climate ambition”, Schulz writes.
Read the blog-entry in English here.
Germany’s economy and energy minister Sigmar Gabriel is spending some 15 million euros on a campaign for energy efficiency (Deutschland macht’s effizient), designed to stimulate energy efficiency in households, companies and councils, WirtschaftsWoche reports. Tax payer association BdSt told the magazine that this was a clear case of wasting tax payers’ money.
Read the article in German here.
If the immediate engagement in the energy transition has subsided a bit in Germany, it is because the Energiewende has become part of daily live, not because citizens lack interest, Heiko von Tschischwitz, founder of green power supplier LichtBlick, told the Hamburger Abendblatt in an interview. Unfortunately, politicians had not understood this and were still thinking the transformation to a clean energy supply would require subsidies. Renewable energies had become so cheap that if their expansion was left to itself, the energy transition would come automatically, von Tschischwitz said.
The decentralised energy system based largely on renewable sources could change the way consumers pay for power, Eva Augsten reports in Technology Review. Power and heat from wind and solar cause hardly any operating costs, but instead need a relatively expensive infrastructure, including storage and steering technology. Once this infrastructure is paid for, the costs of higher usage is minimal, similar to the telecommunications system. Consumers could be offered flat rates and package tariffs, the article says.
Read the article in German here.
Spiegel Online / Bloomberg
Energy company RWE’s new green subsidiary Innogy will in the future pay between 70 and 80 percent of its adjusted net income to shareholders, Spiegel Online reports. The dividend will be paid in full in 2016, the company said at an investor meeting in London. RWE will hold on to 90 percent of shares in Innogy. Innogy is to be listed on the stock market this year.
A poll of 1,000 people in Germany shows that three quarters would like to see renewable energies replace fossil energy entirely, a survey by heating and cooling technology company Stiebel Eltron found. Eighty-five percent of participants said that they found it important that the cost of power won’t rise further. Just under 70 percent think that the energy transition is currently proceeding too slowly.
Read the press release in German here.