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E-fuels: Niche solution for passenger cars – high demand in other sectors

November 9, 2023
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The potential use of synthetic fuels (e-fuels) in the transport sector has been a controversial discussion topic for several years. Both proponents and opponents of e-fuels have arguments on their side. In our view, weighing up these arguments suggests that regulation should a priori allow for technological openness so that Hayek's “competition as a discovery procedure” is possible in the first place. E-fuels could be a solution for some applications in passenger car transport that are not (well) served by battery electric cars (BEV). They could help reduce CO2 emissions from new and existing vehicles. The biggest challenges for the use of e-fuels lie in availability, still-high costs and the low energy-conversion efficiency. [more]

More documents about "Germany"

407 Documents
February 20, 2024
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1
Two large German industrial sectors have experienced significant losses in domestic production during the last few years: the automotive and the chemical industries. In the automotive industry, production level in Q4 2023 was 21% below the former peak reached in autumn 2017. Chemical output in Germany was 27% lower than at its the former peak.
Compared to the significant drop in domestic production, employment in both sectors has remained quite stable during the last few years. The number of employees in the automotive industry declined moderately between 2018 und 2022 but has stabilised since. Employment in the chemical industry was even only 2% below its peak at the latest reading.
In our view, production volumes in both sectors are unlikely to return to former peaks. Thus, we expect employment in these sectors to decline before long, as an adaptation to lower production volumes and probably also as a result of more automatisation and efficiency gains. [more]
February 13, 2024
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3
Production in the manufacturing industry in Germany dropped by 1.2% in 2023 in real terms. This was the second decline in a row (2022: -0.2%) and the fourth decline in the last five years. Thus, industrial output was roughly 9% below the record level of 2018. Since manufacturing output dropped significantly in both Q3 and Q4 2023 (-2.0% and -2.2% qoq respectively), 2024 starts with a significant negative statistical overhang. Sentiment indicators seem to have reached a bottom, but business expectations are still far in negative territory. The negative impact of the recent increase in interest rates on domestic industrial production will likely become visible with a time lag because companies have been able to partly compensate the downturn in new orders by working off the orders booked before 2023. We have revised our forecast for manufacturing production in Germany in 2024 to -2.5% down from -1.5%. In this report, we also look at the economic development in major industrial sectors in Germany. [more]
February 12, 2024
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In early February, the German parliament approved the 2024 budget, ending a prolonged period of uncertainty and provisional budget management. But, torn between the intensifying consolidation requirements under the debt brake and the need to solve the economy's cyclical and structural challenges, the coalition government has already started to debate the upcoming 2025 budget. This fiscal policy debate appears unlikely to be settled anytime soon. In this note we discuss three possible scenarios for how the budget 2025 process might play out. [more]
February 8, 2024
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5
The German government this week agreed on the main features of a new power plant strategy. It is intended to address the problem that there will continue to be phases in the future when weather-dependent renewable energies are unable to cover the entire demand for electricity. Back-up power plants with base load capability are currently a necessary building block of an energy strategy based on renewables. German government has decided to bank on hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants. The government aims to establish a new capacity mechanism by 2028 whereby power plant operators are remunerated for providing secured capacity via tenders. In a first step, 10 gigawatts (GW) of capacity are to be put out to tender in the short term (4 x 2.5 GW). This corresponds to around 20 power plant units. Pending further details, we believe that these plans for a capacity market are a positive development. In our view, it promises greater investment and thus energy security than the alternative of relying on market incentives, i.e., electricity prices remaining temporarily high enough in future to be able to operate such power plants profitably even at low capacity utilisation. One of the major challenges of the future is to obtain sufficient (green) hydrogen for the operation of power plants and industrial processes. [more]
January 23, 2024
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6
Germany lags behind in digitalization. E-Government is a case in point. Historically, public projects are often based on complex coordination across many various entities. We think, switching from this traditional approach to a clear central governance is essential to implement a public cloud, to digitalize registers and offer digital services for citizens and businesses. Interestingly, Bavaria outperforms and seems to have a more central approach than other Länder. [more]
January 3, 2024
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8
There was light and shade in the expansion of renewable energies in Germany in 2023. Installed generation capacity in the photovoltaic sector increased more than ever before in 2023. It will be ambitious to reach that momentum again in 2024. Regarding onshore wind power, net additions in 2023 exceeded the figures from previous years. However, the record from 2017 was missed by a wide margin. Given the high number of new permissions, installed capacity for onshore wind power should grow faster in 2024. For offshore wind power, however, the year 2023 was disappointing. [more]
December 8, 2023
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9
The external environment as well as monetary and fiscal policy should provide strong headwinds. Sentiment will likely be dragged lower by the increasingly evident structural problems. We anticipate a modest recession during the winter half to be followed by a gradual recovery from spring onwards. We expect the government to survive the internal quarrels with respect to the 2024 budget, following the constitutional court ruling. Debt brake reform is unlikely in the short run. A cross-party consensus for a Transformation Fund 2.0 might emerge before September regional elections. [more]
December 1, 2023
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10
The AI boom has had important implications for the semiconductor market. In particular the logic chips are in high demand. In 2023 surging demand was constrained by shrinking supply. This resulted in a substantial fall in units sold whereas prices surged. Here we analyze the underlying economic and technological drivers and forecast the development of global sales of the semiconductor market until the end of 2025. [more]
October 20, 2023
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11
Current advances in AI and a media-savvy generation - in combination with the Internet of Things, edge computing and 5G - provide the opportunity to rethink smart city models such as City 5.0 and soft city. We discuss some use cases – and the trade-offs to be resolved – that arise from connecting and automating a city. Besides digital platforms – now augmented by AI –, smart city market segments such as smart buildings, digital energy and environmental solutions are expected to grow strongly in the coming years. Since not all of these are likely to be publicly funded, interesting investment opportunities do arise to create more efficient, sustainable, and livable urban spaces. [more]
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