Green party boosts influence in German energy sector
The nomination of the Green parliamentary group’s economic policy speaker Kerstin Andreae to head Germany’s influential utility association BDEW means the party is moving into the centre stage of the country’s energy sector, writes Bernd Radowitz in an article for Recharge News. The nomination could be a prelude to a future Green-conservative alliance because at the same time, conservatives from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s governing party are “cosying up” to climate issues, according to Rabowitz. “The swap at the BDEW’s top couldn’t be more symbolic.” Andreae would follow Stefan Kapferer, who leaves the lobby group to become chief executive at transmission system operator 50Hertz. Kapferer is a member of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), who Rabowitz describes as being “lukewarm about Germany’s energy transition."
The BDEW is Germany’s most important energy industry lobby group. After mainly representing the interests of large utilities such as RWE and E.ON for years, the association has recently become a vocal advocate of the Energiewende in general and the roll-out of renewables in particular. Germany’s main renewables industry lobby group, the Federation of Renewable Energies (BEE), last year already picked former Green Party co-chair Simone Peter as its president. “With both the BDEW and the BEE soon to be headed by prominent Greens, the pressure on Merkel’s government and on recalcitrant backers of coal within the energy industry will increase even more, likely giving a boost to renewables,” according to Rabowitz.