Germany's new resource strategy aims at 'responsible' supply for energy transition
Clean Energy Wire
With a new resource strategy covering the procurement of raw materials, Germany aims to achieve a "secure, sustainable and responsible" supply for its energy transition, e-mobility and other sectors of the economy, the economy ministry (BMWi) says. "A reliable resource supply is key for an industrialised and export-oriented nation like Germany," economy minister Peter Altmaier said, adding that the new strategy includes 17 concrete measures aimed at ensuring that the economy's material needs are covered in a "safe, responsible and sustainable" manner. The measures are based on three pillars -- domestic resources, imports and recycling -- and include more research & development funding, credit guarantees for resource projects or monitoring in source countries. While Germany's first resource strategy in 2010 was compiled during a time of "extremely" high prices, today "changed demand patterns through disruptive technologies" and environmentally sound supply chains have come to "dominate" the agenda, the ministry writes. The shift to a decarbonised economy would alter the country's resource needs, the BMWi says, arguing that the new strategy would seek to make the use of existing raw materials as efficient as possible and keep demand as low as possible. The strategy covers "the whole spectrum" of mineral and non-energetic raw materials, the ministry explains, adding that oil, natural gas and hard coal or lignite are not part of it.
The energy resource needs of Germany are set to change fundamentally over the next decades, as the country replaces coal, gas and nuclear power production with renewable energy sources and combustion engines in vehicles with alternative technology, such as e-cars or fuel cells. Minister Altmaier stated that resource partnerships with countries like Russia were set to evolve but still remain important, as the reliance on imports would not shrink over the course of the energy transition.