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21 Feb 2022, 13:52
Edgar Meza

One in four German industry companies fear for existence due to costly energy - survey

Clean Energy Wire

Almost one quarter of German small and medium-sized industrial companies say the high energy prices endanger their survival, according to a survey by the Federation of German Industries (BDI). “Rising electricity and gas prices are threatening to crush the economy,” said BDI President Siegfried Russwurm. The situation is already forcing companies to save on climate neutrality plans, the lobby group said. Of the survey’s 418 respondents, 34 percent said the current energy price development had led to a cut in climate neutrality investments; 23 percent see energy costs as a threat to their very existence; 87 percent want the government to accelerate the reduction of state burdens on the price of electricity; and 21 percent said they were considering moving operations abroad.

The BDI warned that the rapid rise in prices could increasingly affect production in Germany and called for rapid political action. Energy cost increases are higher than they have been since the oil crisis of the 1970s, it said. “Companies want to remain globally competitive and be able to make Germany a climate-neutral industrial country with investments and innovations,” Russwurm added. The BDI welcomed the planned abolition of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) surcharge, but said it was not enough to relieve industry in the long term. It also called for the government to reduce further taxes and surcharges, such as electricity taxes and grid fees. National CO2 pricing is already an existential threat for many small and medium-sized companies, the BDI said. “It drives electricity and gas prices to dizzying heights,” Russwurm said. “The federal government should relieve industry in order to prevent an exodus of production and jobs to cheaper countries abroad.”

In view of the steady increase in gas prices that began last year, German industry has repeatedly warned of the repercussions the high cost of energy will have on their operations.

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