German chemicals industry says lower power prices crucial for climate-friendly transformation
Clean Energy Wire
Leading chemical industry associations in Germany have tabled a strategy to make the sector fit for upcoming decarbonisation measures included in the EU Green Deal as well as for other challenges, with lower power prices being regarded a key factor for the industry's success. Employer association BAVC, labour union IG BCE and industry umbrella group VCI, together with the economy ministry (BMWi), have worked on a strategy to retain the country's position as a lead market for chemical and pharmaceutical products. "More support for innovation, quicker licensing procedures and cheap power prices are central elements of our concept," said VCI head Christian Kullmann. The economy ministry said the dialogue with the chemical industry had been a success so far, stressing that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the importance of having a capable pharmaceutical industry in Germany. "The transformation of the industry to greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 is a huge challenge," economy minister Peter Altmaier stressed, adding that decisions taken now could crucially influence employment, market shares and technological leadership in the industry for years to come.
The chemical industry in Germany employs nearly 465,000 people and brands itself as the country's third largest industrial sector after cars and machinery. Industrial companies from Germany have long argued that current power prices are too high, leading to calls for an EU-wide electricity price for industry as an instrument to safeguard the sector's global competitiveness amid its plans to achieve climate-neutrality.