News Digest Item
24 Apr 2018

SPD energy politician says carbon floor price needed to reveal true cost of renewables

Clean Energy Wire

Germany needs a carbon floor price to reveal the true costs of renewables vis-à-vis other energy sources, the SPD parliamentary group's energy policy coordinator, Johann Saathoff, said at an event organised by the offshore wind power industry association AGOW in Berlin. Saathoff said a common carbon floor price in European countries would reveal that renewable energy sources like offshore wind power are more competitive than fossil and other energy sources. “Most people, and especially some from abroad, say that nuclear is the cheapest form of power generation,” Saathoff said. “But this is only true if you don’t factor in the costs of nuclear waste disposal,” the energy politician said, adding that this would probably make nuclear power the most expensive form of energy generation. “Likewise for coal, which is only cheap because blowing CO2 into the atmosphere is free of charge,” he said, arguing that most forms of renewable power would see substantial cost advantages if CO2 was priced appropriately. The Social Democrat said a carbon floor price would also be needed to get sector coupling - the integration of different sectors - off the ground. “We cannot wait for the [EU Emissions Tranding System] ETS here,” Saathoff said. He added that the debate on a carbon floor price is gaining momentum in German policymaking, and especially within the SPD, which is mirrored by a recent statement by environment minister Svenja Schulze, a Social Democrat, that she was open to a national carbon price.

For background, read the CLEW article German environment minister open to national carbon price.

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