Trade Nov-Dec Interactive - page 6

Energiewende: Germany's
Lost Generation
Germany’s renewable energy
transition ('Energiewende') has
been the topic of heated debate
over whether a renewables-only
future is smart for the planet,
technically feasible, and economi-
cally desirable. Analysts have
voiced serious skepticism; maga-
zines like Der Spiegel and the
Washington Post have published
heavy critiques of the German
energy policy. In the other corner
are several full-throated supporters
of the Energiewende. The Ener-
giewende has undoubtedly helped
drive down the real costs of
renewable energy technologies, and
driven innovation in grid opera-
tions and business models to make
intermittent energy cheaper. But
renewables boosters have used the
German story as proof-of-concept
for their long-desired goal of 100
percent renewable-electricity
systems, which the Energiewende is
far, far from exemplifying.
Tesla Challenges
BMW on Home Turf as
Germans Go Green
Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-vehi-
cle maker led by billionaire Elon
Musk, is pushing beyond the
friendly confines of California to
take on the world’s biggest luxury-
car brands in their home market.
Tesla will have six stores in Ger-
many after adding locations in the
coming months in Berlin and
Stuttgart, home to Mercedes-Benz
parent Daimler AG. The startup
already has sales centers in Frank-
furt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and
Munich, Bayerische Motoren Werke
AG (BMW)’s hometown.
U.S. Energy Lifting Economy
More Than Expected
Rising U.S. oil and natural gas
production is having a bigger impact
on the U.S. economy than estimated
a couple years ago, according to the
leading economic consulting firm
IHS. The explosion in domestic
energy production now supports 1.2
million jobs, directly or indirectly,
and that number will likely grow to
3.3 million by 2020. New energy's
contribution to U.S. families' dispos-
able incomes will hit $2,000 per
household per year by 2015, said IHS.
Bertelsmann Expands
Music Business With
U.S. Joint Venture
Bertelsmann, the German media giant,
has expanded its recent efforts to
return to the music business through
a $150 million deal with Primary
Wave Music, an American company
that handles music publishing rights,
artist management and marketing. In
the deal, signed over the Labor Day
weekend, BMG Rights Management,
Bertelsmann’s music arm, will buy the
bulk of Primary Wave’s publishing
assets, including rights to songs by
Hall & Oates, Nirvana, Aerosmith and
Earth, Wind & Fire.
The Startup Scene:
Accelerator and Incubator
Hype in Germany
In the past couple of years, several
well-known accelerators and
incubators have been established in
Germany. Berlin as the hub and
origin of many German startups is
still the scene's stronghold par
excellence. So it comes as no
surprise that many accelerator and
incubator programs are based
precisely in this area. If you are
familiar with the startup ecosystem,
you have heard of the Startupboot-
camp Berlin or the Berlin Startup
Academy, BSA. While the
Startupbootcamp is supported by
Daimler and Bosch, BSA is an
independent program. Other major
players in the startup scene are
Deutsche Telekom's hub:raum and
the Siemens Technology Accelerator.
But also several media groups get in
on the action, such as Burda-Media's
dldventures, Axel Springer with
PlugandPlay as well as ProSieben-
Sat.1 with its own accelerator.
Giants in the food industry (REWE,
Coca-Cola) and pharmaceutical
heavyweight Bayer Health Care are
still in the developmental phase of
their concepts.
Auto Suppliers Webasto-
Edscha Cabrio USA and
ADVICS North America, Inc.
Plan Expansion in Michigan
A $6.8 million investment in
Plymouth Township’s, MI, industrial
corridor by two auto suppliers could
bring more than 100 engineering,
research and manufacturing jobs
there, plus help retain over 40 more
jobs. Webasto-Edscha Cabrio USA
and ADVICS North America, Inc.,
were each given the green light by
the township for a tax break on
building improvements and new
tools and equipment they plan to
bring to their facilities in the Metro
West Industrial Park. Webasto, part
of a German company and the
descendant of Karmann USA, makes
convertible and open-air automobile
tops and is the largest manufacturer
of such systems in the world.
Germany Packaging
Player Gizeh Expands
Into North America
Plastics packaging specialist Gizeh is
expanding its presence in North
America with the construction of a
T R A N S A T L A N T I C T I C K E R
German American Trade Nov/Dec 2013
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