Performance of Germany’s energy minister Altmaier disappoints industry
Germany’s economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier has disappointed many observers with what they consider an “erratic and sluggish” administration of his department, Sophie Crocoll and Max Haerder write in the WirtschaftsWoche. Many companies in the country are “unhappy with the Energiewende’s [Germany’s energy transition] status quo,” said Eric Schweitzer of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), adding that electricity costs for small and medium-sized companies in the country now were twice as high as for their competitors in neighbouring France. Franz Untersteller, Green energy minister from the southern economic powerhouse state of Baden-Wurttemberg, criticised conservative (CDU) politician Altmaier for presiding over a “hectic standstill” in energy policy. Despite Altmaier’s declared intention to significantly accelerate grid expansion in Germany, progress in the much-needed Energiewende infrastructure project remains largely wanting, the authors say.