27 Apr 2022, 11:38
Edgar Meza

German finance minister warns against further accelerating energy transition

Die Welt

German finance minister Christian Lindner, head of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), has warned against accelerating the energy transition – a move driven by his Green Party partners in the ruling coalition. Speaking to Welt am Sonntag, Linder said an accelerated energy transition could result in Germany losing its competitiveness and the affordability of energy. He expressed concern about the push for faster decarbonisation and phasing out the use of fossil fuels, saying, "I'm open to it, but I want to know what that means." Lindner added: “My concern is that we are overdoing it, that the idea of ​​being competitive and also being able to afford energy is taking too much of a back seat.” Germany must therefore continue to make efforts to ensure the import of coal, oil and gas, he stressed. "Not only can we be overly ambitious when it comes to the schedules, we also have to keep an eye on the competitiveness of our economy." At the same time, Lindner expressed skepticism about a possible continuation of nuclear power in Germany. Although it must be discussed, Lindner said he doubts nuclear power can make a contribution to the country’s energy security, noting that the three plants that are currently still running also rely on “fuel that does not come from Germany". He said he nevertheless is open to a debate on the subject if economic affairs and climate protection minister Robert Habeck proposed it.

Habeck and environment minister Steffi Lemke, both of the Green Party, had considered extending nuclear power generation but now oppose the idea. Europe is highly dependent on Russian uranium for nuclear power plants. Despite Russia’s war against Ukraine, an embargo of Russian uranium has not been discussed nor have sanctions against Russian state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom. The country has initiated a slur of measures to become more independent from Russian energy as quickly as possible, including the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, gas deals with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, new oil and coal suppliers and an expansion push for renewable energy installations.

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