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16 Aug 2019, 12:13
Julian Wettengel

On energy policy, Germany thinks itself an island in Europe – opinion

Die Zeit

The German government's energy policy often lacks an appropriate and necessary coordination with European neighbours, writes Michael Thumann in an opinion piece in Die Zeit. "Germany lies in the middle of Europe, but when it comes to energy policy we often pretend to be an island state somewhere in the ocean”, he writes, making the policy "un-European", he writes. This robbed many measures of their effectiveness and hindered climate protection. A point in case is the Russian-German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, which has led to a true political conflict, he writes. "The expectation of the federal government is nothing less than the Europeanisation of German climate and energy policy."

Germany’s energy transition began as a lonely expedition. Expanding green energy rapidly and switching off its nuclear power stations antagonised some neighbours and the European Commission. In recent years, cooperation has increasingly become a focus on the path to completing the energy union, for example through avoiding loop flows, building additional cross-border power lines and joint energy and climate targets.

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