Lower Saxony election winner SPD aims to make state No. 1 for energy in Germany
Clean Energy Wire / Frankfurter Rundschau
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) has won the regional parliamentary election in Lower Saxony, Germany’s biggest wind power producer, with 34 percent of the votes, preliminary results show. The CDU became the second strongest party with a 32 percent share of the vote. The Green Party and the AfD both saw increased support, securing voter support of 14 and 9 percent, respectively. The Lower Saxony election, which took place on 9 October, was the first in Germany since the energy crisis really started taking a toll on households and businesses, and was seen as a mood barometer for the national government's crisis response under the leadership of chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). State Premier Stephan Weil (SPD) aims to make Lower Saxony No. 1 for energy. “The next years will be key for energy policy and a much faster transition than expected towards renewable energy sources and a hydrogen economy. This is a huge opportunity for Lower Saxony. We can become the No. 1 energy state in the whole of Germany. I want to take advantage of this opportunity,” Weil told the Frankfurter Rundschau ahead of his victory in Lower Saxony’s state elections.
The northern German state will likely continue to be governed by the SPD, but previous coalition partner CDU is likely to be replaced with the Green Party, which received enough votes to provide this two-party coalition with a majority in parliament. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), which are part of the national “traffic light coalition” (named due to the parties’ traditional colours), didn’t surpass the 5 percent threshold needed to enter into the state parliament. The SPD’s Weil aims to turn the coastal state into an energy hub that, in addition to the further expansion of wind and solar power, would also include liquefied natural gas (LNG) import infrastructure and new domestic fossil fuel extraction projects in the North Sea, close to protected marine areas of the Wadden Sea.