19 Apr 2017, 00:00
Julian Wettengel

VW confident about China's e-car quota / RWE - eyes on UK?


German carmaker Volkswagen plans to comply with China’s planned quota for e-cars without buying additional credits from competitors, reports Jake Spring for Reuters. "We are fully with all forces working to be able to fulfil this quota system already next year,” China CEO Jochem Heizmann told reporters ahead of the Shanghai motor show. VW also plans to launch a pure battery electric vehicle in China this year, reports Reuters in a separate article. A lack of clarity about whether electric car quotas would be softened is forcing VW to push ahead with an aggressive launch schedule for electric cars in China, said Heizmann. The company also reported a 28 percent jump in first-quarter operating profit for 2017, with the turnaround at the VW brand a key, writes Reuters in a third article.

Read the articles in English here, here and here.

For more on VW’s plans read the CLEW factsheet Dieselgate forces VW to embrace green mobility.


With the future of e-mobility being decided in China, German carmakers have to get a move on to not fall behind, writes Sebastian Schaal for WirtschaftsWoche. An “actively shaped, distorted technology race” was unfolding in China, according to Sebastian Heilmann, director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies. Germany’s business leaders and politicians would have to “steel and defend themselves” to not be pushed out of the market little by little.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.

The Telegraph

RWE’s CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz has fuelled expectations that the company will target the UK energy market for future acquisitions with comments in a recent German newspaper interview, writes Jillian Ambrose in The Telegraph. With its capacity market, the UK could offer the opportunity to “secure revenues for the market-battered company”, while RWE’s other core markets Germany and the Netherlands do not offer the same capacity contracts, writes Ambrose.

Read the article in English here.


Green Party and parliamentary group leaders Cem Özdemir and Anton Hofreiter call on Chancellor Angela Merkel to act on pollution in German cities, reports news agency dpa. The pair ask Merkel in a letter to support the introduction of “blue badges” that would give cities a legal basis for banning older diesel cars in order to lower nitrogen oxide emissions, which are harmful to the health of the population. This also had an economic dimension, as jobs in diesel car manufacturing could only be kept if the cars complied with ambitious emissions limits.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector.

Harvard Business Review

The energy transition of any given country can be divided into three phases, write Christopher Burger and Jens Weinmann in Harvard Business Review (HBR). Energiewende 1.0 is characterised by kick-starting renewables power production. Germany is currently in phase two, struggling with a large share of intermittent, weather dependent power sources, according to the authors. “In the third phase, which is yet to come for any country, we predict that the electricity supply industry will be forced to leave its roots as a public infrastructure service and become truly private businesses, with customized solutions for each producer and consumer,” write Burger and Weinmann.

Read the article in English here.

Also read the CLEW factsheet How can Germany keep the lights on in a renewable energy future?

World Energy Council

Germany is a pioneer for new technologies in the energy industry, according to World Energy Council (WEC) Germany. This was underlined by the fact that digitalisation is one of the most dominant topics in Germany, according to survey results from decision-makers from over 90 countries, presented in the WEC’s World Energy Issues Monitor 2017. “No country rates the influence of digitalisation on the energy economy’s business models higher than Germany,” said Carsten Rolle, managing director of World Energy Council Germany in a press release. The report was published earlier this month.

Find the full survey report in English here and the press release in German here.

dpa / Handelsblatt

Tesla CEO Elon Musk criticised the Industrial Union of Metalworkers (IG Metall) and insisted there would not be any job cuts at German car supplier Grohmann in the coming five years, reports news agency dpa in an article carried by Handelsblatt. IG Metall had demanded a collective labour agreement for employees and threatened a strike at the supplier, which was recently acquired by Tesla, in the German city of Prüm. “In the end, with the salary and equity share every Tesla-Grohmann employee will have the opportunity to earn significantly more than the sector’s standard, as well as in relation to the costs of living in Prüm,” said Musk.

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and German carmakers.


The global energy transition is a peace project, as it leads to a fairer distribution of wealth and prevents wars about resources, writes Claudia Kemfert of the DIW in a guest commentary in Tagesspiegel. “It would be fatal to hinge the outcome of the peace project Energiewende on the interests of the fossil energy world,” writes Kemfert.


Regional power suppliers call on the federal government to put more emphasis on the development of the distribution grid, instead of focussing solely on the higher-voltage transmission grid, reports Johannes Schiller for German broadcaster MDR. “These grids need to be made ready, also in light of digitalisation. This requires someone to invest heavily,” said Michael Ebling, president of the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU).

Read the article in German here.

For background read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and Germany’s power grid.

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.
« previous news next news »


Researching a story? Drop CLEW a line or give us a call for background material and contacts.

Get support

+49 30 62858 497

Journalism for the energy transition

Get our Newsletter
Join our Network
Find an interviewee