07 Feb 2022, 13:32
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energy price hike is “advertisement” for Germany’s energy transition – govt advisor

Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung

High energy prices for gas, oil and electricity should be seen as “an advertisement for the energy transition,” economist Monika Schnitzer has said in an interview with the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Increased energy prices across Europe in the past months offer “a chance to become more independent from gas and oil imports,” said Schnitzer, who works as government advisor in the German Council of Economic Experts. She argued that a fast transition from fossil fuels to renewables means a liberation from constraints posed by fossil fuel trading, and that the support payments to households struggling with higher energy bills can help curb a more general inflation and are more appropriate than lowering taxes, which might not end up serving those in need. By contrast, ending the renewables levy paid by consumers with their power bill would be an appropriate measure to curb prices and provide incentives to invest in climate-friendly technologies, she added. Schnitzer said that a growing number of companies have come to the conclusion that “the energy transition can be a business opportunity for us in Germany.” She said the goal had to be “to develop the technologies and machines needed for it and to export them around the world.” 

Turning the energy transition into an export success is a key promise of Germany’s new government, which holds that jobs lost on the way to a low-emission economy – for example in fossil fuel industries – can be replaced with new ones created in renewable power, hydrogen production, e-mobility, and other sectors. However, leading economists in the country remain split over how much the energy transition benefits Germany economically.

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