Sectors and Resources
The Sector Research team analyses cyclical and structural developments. On the basis of its findings it draws up business and policy recommendations for the major sectors. These include the important branches of industry as well as wholesale/retail, services, energy, transportation and environmental policy.
Natural resources
Germany's "Energiewende" driving power-to-gas: From an idea to market launch
The massive expansion of renewables in the last few years has led to an increase in the volatility of the power supply. As the implementation of the "Energiewende" is one of the crucial issues for the new federal government, this also requires innovative solutions that go beyond traditional technical storage facilities in our view. Looking ahead, the energy revolution may hardly succeed without power-to-gas as power-to-gas as a storage medium could offset the continuing strong increases in the volatilities in power supply. The prospects for power-to-gas are favourable. Experts claim the installation of power-to-gas systems with an electricity generation of 1,000 MW by 2022 to establish an initial market. If in the time thereafter – as we expect – the demand for electricity storage media continues to rise as a result of increasing green electricity quantities and fluctuations, power-to-gas is an appropriate answer to the currently still open question as to a sustainable technical solution. [more]
European industry
European industrial policy: Limited scope for action in short term
Even though current political developments have disrupted the agenda for the spring summit of the European Council (March 20-21), competitiveness issues have in fact traditionally been an important topic at such gatherings. At the end of January the European Commission already issued a communication on this issue that once again called for a strengthening of European industry. While this political signal is to be welcomed, the Commission's short-term scope for taking action is limited in many areas. Firstly, this is the case because established economic structures in individual member states cannot be altered overnight. And secondly, decision-making powers in important policy areas largely rest with national governments. [more]
Natural resources
Carbon Leakage: A barely perceptible process
Germany pursues ambitious energy and climate policy objectives and is thus a trailblazer in these fields internationally. However, the faltering UN climate protection process shows that other countries are not following Germany's lead or are moving at a slower pace. In Germany, a barely perceptible process of de-industrialisation has already begun in energy-intensive sectors. CO<sub>2</sub> emissions are shifting from Germany to other countries. In order to stop the barely perceptible process of de-industrialisation and carbon leakage, Germany should either join forces with Europe to achieve faster progress and more stringent targets in international climate protection or else curb its own pace. At the very least, Germany has to seek to make its Energiewende more efficient. Moreover, energy-intensive companies are going to require exemption regimes in the future, too. [more]
German air travel
German industry
German industry: Tangible production growth in 2014
The EU is poised to make decisions on the level of CO2emissions from new passenger cars. The target for 2020 of lowering average CO2emissions to 95 g/km is ambitious, but not out of reach. The target value already requires significant electrification of the drivetrain in the luxury segment in particular. Given the uncertainties surrounding technological progress and how costs of say e-mobility will develop, it is risky to set more ambitious limits for 2025 already today. Generous super-credit weightings would help accelerate the market penetration of low-carbon propulsion technologies. [more]
European integration
Europe's re-industrialisation: The gulf between aspiration and reality
The EU Commission's stated aim of increasing the industrial sector's share of gross value added in the European Union to 20% by 2020 is extremely ambitious and, in our view, cannot be achieved in the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, it sends out the right political signal that Europe is to be strengthened as an industrial location. Rather than focusing on purely industry-specific measures, the attainment of this goal will ultimately require supportive conditions for companies – those from both the industrial and service sectors – to ensure that they can compete against non-European rivals. This in turn will necessitate investment in education, research and infrastructure as well as a benign investment climate, affordable energy prices and intelligent regulation. [more]
Spotlight on Germany
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