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08 Apr 2019, 12:30
Edgar Meza

Germany's economic powerhouse states demand clear federal energy policy concept

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The state premiers of two of Germany's economic powerhouse states, Markus Söder from Bavaria and Winfried Kretschmann from Baden-Württemberg, have called for "a coherent overall concept" for power generation and supply in Germany, Wolfgang Wittl writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Expressing concern about southern Germany’s industrial sector, Söder, a conservative from the CSU, the sister party of Merkel’s CDU, and Kretschmann, a Green Party member, said the government’s current energy policy and coal phase-out plan was mainly focused on eastern and western states while neglecting the concerns of southern Germany with its many successful industrial companies. "Without such an overall concept, the efficiency of our economy and thus the prosperity in the country would be seriously endangered,” Söder and Kretschmann wrote. The state premiers in particular call for ensuring that major power transmission lines needed to transport wind power from the North to the South are completed on time and that Germany's coal exit is accompanied by a parallel expansion of the country's natural gas capacity.

German industry has largely started to embrace the energy transition and decarbonisation, with the country's most powerful industry lobby group BDI saying that the country could substantially benefit from being a pioneer in many low-carbon technologies if it is accompanied by coherent policymaking. However, the BDI recently also said that bringing emisisons down by 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, as outlined in Germany's Climate Action Plan 2050, is "totally unthinkable" and called for instead opting for the lower end of the envisaged emissions reduction range of 80 percent by the middle of the century.

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