Bavarian state premier's calls for nuclear power and fracking isolate state's energy policy - media
Tageszeitung (taz) / Financial Times
As the biggest importer of Russian oil and gas among all German states, Bavaria is struggling to find adequate replacements as proposed solutions from its state premier, conservative (CSU) Markus Söder, for more nuclear power and even fracking -- are being widely rejected, newspaper Tageszeitung (taz) reports. Bavaria spent 5.6 billion euros on Russian oil and gas last year, more than any other state. Söder sees hydrogen as a key energy source for the state in the medium term, even supporting the idea of a hydrogen pipeline from Italy to Bavaria. in the short term, however, he is pushing for the operation of nuclear power and coal plants to be extended and even for reactors that have already been shut down to be restarted and calls for fas fracking in the country. Political allies, opponents and energy industry leaders, however, have flatly rejected the proposals. Currently, only the Isar 2 nuclear power plant is online in Bavaria, but it’s its operator, E.ON subsidiary PreussenElektra, is shutting it down at the end of the year. “There is no future for nuclear in Germany, period,” E.ON CEO Leo Birnbaum told the Financial Times. Similarly, Söder’s proposal for fracking to be considered in the state was not only rejected by Bavarian opposition parties, the Greens and Social Democrats, but also by his CSU’s own coalition partner. “Bavaria has banned fracking for good reason," said Bavarian environment minister Torsten Glauber of the Free Voters. “I stand by that. Fracking is the wrong path.”
At the same time, Söder’s government has made the expansion of renewables in the state difficult, particularly when it comes to wind turbines, which face tough regulatory hurdles. And despite its sunny weather, photovoltaic systems are conspicuously missing from 96 percent of state buildings and from 85 percent of new buildings.