VW wants to sell more SUVs / RWE refutes "toxic coal stocks" advice
Car buyers around the world are “in love with SUVs,” Jürgen Stackmann, member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, told the news agency dpa. By 2025, every second car sold by VW would be an SUV. According to Stackmann, the company can earn more money with SUVs, and this will help VW secure the investment needed into electric mobility and self-driving cars. The downside is that SUVs generally use more fuel and thus also emit more CO2, the article points out.
Read a short version of the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy and the interview Disruption caused by energy transition is unstoppable- Amory Lovins.
With their protest slogan “No good climate without good work” – used to demand job protection as Germany plans a coal phase-out – coal workers are making a valid point, Joachim Wille writes in an opinion piece for the Frankfurter Rundschau. But despite their slogan, it is long overdue that trade unions play a more constructive role in the coal phase-out debate, he says. Climate and jobs should not be played off against each other. “A well-done energy transition is a job machine that creates many more jobs nationwide than are lost in the coal sector.”
For background, read the CLEW article Workers demand job protection as coal commission debates perspectives.
In an open letter published in the WirtschaftsWoche, Gunhild Grieve, head of investor relations at German utility RWE, refutes the advice that investors should get rid of “toxic coal stocks”. The suggestion had been made by Jan Erik Saugestad, CEO of Norway’s pension fund Storebrand, in an earlier article in the same magazine. Grieve points out that RWE had “invested heavily” to replace CO2-intensive power stations with modern ones, and had reduced its emissions by 27 percent between 2012 and 2017. She also says that through the asset swap with E.ON, RWE would receive the renewables business of E.ON and innogy, turning “RWE into a leading supplier of renewable energy”. The company wants to invest up to 1.5 billion euros annually in the expansion of renewables, Grieve writes.
Read the letter in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.
Germany’s government is creating a “climate chaos,” the tabloid newspaper Bild writes in a page two article. Despite the high costs of renewable power, the targets of the energy transition are far from being reached, the article says. Another point of criticism is that while power stations and industry have managed to significantly reduce CO2 emissions since 1990, the transport, buildings, and agriculture sectors are not fulfilling their obligations. “At the same time, there’s a discussion about bans for low-CO2 diesel cars. Lunacy!,” the article says.
Find an online version of the article in German here.
For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change, the factsheet Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets, and check out CLEW's Easy Guide to the Energiewende.
Clean Energy Wire / WSJ
The German government is considering providing financial support to the construction of what would be the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, according to spokesperson Steffen Seibert. While private investors are currently examining different locations and analysing the feasibility and profitability of such a project, “the government is looking at the financing options that could be made available in the framework of the existing government programmes,” Seibert said at a government press conference. “In view of the CO₂ issue, gas may play an even greater role in our energy supply in the future,” he added. In the current coalition treaty from early 2018, the government says it wants to make Germany a location for LNG infrastructure. The Wall Street Journal had reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a small group of lawmakers her government had decided to co-finance the construction of a 500 million euro LNG shipping terminal in northern Germany. Seibert said he would not comment on the chancellor’s confidential remarks.
For background, read the CLEW news item Germany to build LNG plant in 'gesture' to US drive to sell more, the factsheet Gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 links Germany to Russia, but splits Europe and the dossier The role of gas in Germany's energy transition.
The Financial Times
Low water levels in the Rhine river after a prolonged drought have disrupted fuel and chemical supplies on the vital European trade route, sparking concern over potential economic impact and raising questions about how climate change will hit Europe’s transport infrastructure, write David Sheppard and Guy Chazan for The Financial Times.
Read the article in English here.
For background, read the CLEW article Germany's power system weathers heat wave despite fossil plant curbs and the dossier Emissions from food and farming in Germany.
Clean Energy Wire
Utility EnBW has launched its first 500-million-euro green bond with a 15-year term to maturity. The bond was oversubscribed after a few hours, the energy company said in a press release, adding that EnBW was one of the first German businesses to launch a green bond of this size. The proceeds from the bond will flow into projects in the fields of wind power, photovoltaics, and electromobility. "The transformation of our company towards renewable energies and smart infrastructure solutions is a core component of our strategy," EnBW CFO Thomas Kusterer commented.
Read the press release in English here.
For background, read the CLEW article German financial sector expects EU standards to boost green finance.
Clean Energy Wire
A total of 915,000 cruise ship passengers landed in Hamburg this year, up from 813,000 in 2017, Cruise Gate Hamburg, which operates three terminals in the harbour, said in a press release. Despite the increasing number of cruise ships visiting Hamburg, CO2 emissions from them were reduced by 200 tonnes in 2017 and 458 tonnes in 2018. A reason for the reduction was that ships mooring at the Steinwerder and Altona Cruise Ship Terminals had the option of receiving low-carbon power from liquified natural gas (LNG) or an on-shore power station instead of using their own diesel engines, Cruise Gate said.
Read the press release in English here.
Find a CLEW factsheet on shipping and the energy transition here.