Sources used: dpa news agency Landeskriminalamt Bayern: press release from May 20th

The government has decided on the cornerstones of its climate package. Financing details are now known – billions in revenue are to flow from the planned CO2 price for transport and heating. 

The federal government expects the planned CO2 price for transport and heating to generate revenues of 18.8 billion euros by 2023. That was reported by the newspapers of the Funke media group (Tuesday) and that "Handelsblatt" citing documents for Wednesday’s cabinet meeting. It is therefore about the financial impact of the climate protection package on the 2020 budget and the following years. According to the reports, the government intends to set up a supplementary budget for the coming year to implement its climate plans.

According to the Funke report, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) emphasized in the draft for the cabinet that all income from CO2 pricing should either be used for climate protection measures or for relieving the burden on citizens.

The federal government’s climate protection package provides for measures worth more than 54 billion euros by 2023. The aim is for Germany to meet its climate protection targets for 2030. The Federal Cabinet decided on the key points of the package last week.

What is the CO-2 price about?

A CO2 price is intended to make environmentally harmful fuels from oil, natural gas and coal more expensive – and thus create an incentive for the development and purchase of more climate-friendly cars and heating systems. The black and red climate package envisages entering the transport and heating sectors in 2021 with 10 euros per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) – critics consider this price to be far too low. By 2025, the price is to rise to 35 euros and from 2026 onwards, it is partly left to the market in a trade in pollution rights, but initially capped at 60 euros.

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In return for the CO2 price, among other things, the commuter flat-rate for long journeys is to increase, and the EEG surcharge for promoting green electricity is to be reduced from 2021. The change from old oil heating systems to more climate-friendly new models should be done with a "Exchange bonus" be funded by up to 40 percent of the costs. The coalition also wants to make rail travel cheaper and flights more expensive. The vehicle tax for new cars is to be geared more towards CO2 emissions.

These are the targeted funding sources

According to "Handelsblatt" The main component of the supplementary budget aimed at by Scholz is the economic plan for the so-called energy and climate fund, through which most of the climate protection measures would be financed. The main sources of finance are supposed to be billions of euros in income from the CO2 price, income from certificate trading in the energy sector and reserves of six billion euros.

According to Funke newspapers, Scholz assures with regard to the implementation of the climate protection package: "The debt rule anchored in the Basic Law will continue to be observed." With the climate policy measures, the federal government "a strong stimulus for the economy" and support German industry in the necessary structural change. The finance minister had previously made it clear that there should be no new debt for financing.

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The President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, called for further steps towards climate protection. "A clear message would be, for example: From 2030 onwards, no new cars with internal combustion engines will be registered, as other European countries are doing"he said "New Osnabrück newspaper" (Tuesday). "That would be a framework that citizens and businesses could adapt to. The federal government should improve its climate program." Opposition, environmentalists and business associations had sharply criticized the government’s climate policy.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Offenbach (dpa / tmn) – If you want to produce electricity yourself and use it at home without a lot of effort, you can install a mini photovoltaic system. It is connected to the house’s electrical circuit with a plug. But the technology has to fit, as the manufacturer initiative Elektro + explains.

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The solar modules of a mini photovoltaic system can be installed on the balcony, a carport, a garden shed or on the house facade. The systems consist of a so-called PV module with an integrated inverter and a connection cable with a plug.

However, the systems cannot simply be connected to a normal household socket – otherwise overload and, in the worst case, a fire, warns the initiative. Rather, the existing socket has to be exchanged for a special power socket by a craftsman. But this is possible with little effort.

Electricity meter must be replaced

In addition, a so-called bidirectional meter must be installed, a normal electricity meter is no longer sufficient. The reason: Although the self-generated electricity is mostly used at home, surpluses can also be fed into the public electricity grid. A conventional analog counter would then run backwards, the experts explain – which in practice would be a fraud. The exchange of meters can be requested directly from the network operator.

Mini photovoltaic systems are notifiable both to the network operator and to the Federal Network Agency. Tenants must also obtain permission from their landlord prior to installation.

Berlin (dpa / tmn) – Solar power is almost CO2-free – and with their own system on the roof, households save the purchase costs for electricity. So far, the federal government has also supported the installations. However, the feed-in tariff in its current form is expected to end in the coming year. The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) points this out.

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The subsidy rates for solar power have already been reduced several times. The Renewable Energy Sources Act provides a nationwide target of 52 gigawatts for subsidized photovoltaics. The more systems are built in a certain period of time, the lower the remuneration for these installations. The feed-in tariff also decreases in stages.

If the target of 52 gigawatts is reached, no further subsidies are paid for new systems. The vzbv observers expect this to happen in 2020. A follow-up regulation has not yet been made. Those who want to put a new photovoltaic system into operation should therefore not wait too long, the experts advise. Currently, the annual feed-in tariff for electricity production of 3600 kilowatt hours and 70 percent feed-in amounts to 250 euros.

A former star of the German solar industry is bankrupt: The plant manufacturer Phoenix Solar filed for bankruptcy at the Munich district court on Wednesday, as the company announced.

The reason is that a major US customer has collected eight million dollars (6.8 million euros) that it had made available to Phoenix Solar for projects in the USA. The company from Sulzemoos near Munich announced its bankruptcy last week.

Phoenix Solar was one of the pioneers in the industry in Germany at the end of the 1990s and specialized in the construction of large photovoltaic systems. Things have been going downhill almost continuously since the beginning of this decade. Sales shrank, equity was used up.

Germany wants to be a pioneer in the energy transition. According to a study, however, the Federal Republic is clearly missing the target EU quota for renewable energies. Industry and environmental associations are now calling for rapid reforms alike.

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According to calculations by the German Renewable Energy Association (BEE), the share of eco-energy in total consumption is set to climb to just 16 percent in 2020 – but the aim is 18 percent according to the EU directive. The trend analysis not only records electricity consumption, but also the heating and transport sectors.

In April, the BEE had predicted a share of 16.7 percent. The association cites an increase in energy consumption in the heating and transport sector as the reason for the change. For example, higher fuel consumption is expected than originally forecast. The association warned: The 18 percent target will be in "move even further afield if the increase in consumption in the heating, transport and electricity sectors continues unabated".

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Only five countries are threatened with missing the eco-target

For other countries, the EU directive makes  "Share of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption in 2020" other requirements, the EU average is 20 percent. According to the BEE, only five of the 28 EU member states are in danger of missing their targets: Besides Germany, these are Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. BEE managing director Peter Röttgen therefore demands: "The next federal government must fundamentally modernize the regulations of the energy industry." In this way, the innovation potential of the energy transition can be used economically.

According to the BEE, renewable energies accounted for 31.7 percent of electricity consumption, but only a good 13 percent in the heating sector and just over 5 percent in transport. Under current conditions, the share of eco-energy is likely to rise to almost 40 percent in electricity consumption by 2020, stagnate at a good 13 percent for heat and only increase slightly to 6.1 percent in transport.

Around two weeks ago, a calculation by the Agora Energiewende think tank showed that Germany will miss the climate protection target it has set itself for 2020 more clearly than previously assumed if the coming federal government does not quickly take action.

"Land of the energy transition is currently not worth a name"

"The country of the energy transition is currently not worth its name", criticized Michael Schäfer from WWF in view of the BEE bill. "It is imperative that the new federal government set up an emergency program for Climate Protection 2020, with which it ensures that Germany fulfills its obligations under the Paris Agreement and EU law." The climate protection expert suggested one "Special call for climate protection 2020" for additional wind power and solar systems.

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With our cooperation partner and its editor-in-chief Hermann-Josef Tenhagen, we have started a new interactive format: "For 100 euros more". We are presenting you with tips that are not everyday savings. Review critically and send us your comments. This time the tip revolves around photovoltaics and solar power storage.

Sun Euros

The sun is a power. The heat waves in July clearly showed how much power the sun has in Germany. And it pays to use this power and at the same time to save your wallet in the long term. 

This is how it works: Install a good solar system on your roof, use as much of this electricity as possible yourself, help with a storage system and let the cash register ring! 

First things first: With a good solar system, you can generate solar power at home for 11 to 14 cents. With your electricity provider, you pay well over 25 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). The result: every kWh of self-generated electricity that you also consume brings you cash.

Consuming 1000 kWh of self-generated electricity saves more than 100 euros compared to consuming electricity from the grid. 

With an average annual consumption of about 4,000 kWh for a family of three, a nice amount of over 400 euros comes together every year.

You can generate your electricity particularly cheaply if you have purchased the system cheaply and installed it on a beautiful, shadow-free south side of your roof at the correct slope.