02 Mar 2022, 13:31
Kerstine Appunn

Renewables will guarantee energy security, short term use of more coal possible – German econ min

Clean Energy Wire

Ensuring energy supply security can take priority over climate action, Germany’s economy and climate minister has said. Speaking to Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) radio, Robert Habeck from the Green party added that “this should not obscure the fact that, fundamentally, independence and sovereignty in energy policy and climate-neutral energy production are the same thing.” He said that in the short term, he wouldn’t rule out keeping coal-fired power plants in reserve or “perhaps even leave them running” as a precautionary measure. “Pragmatism must beat any political determination [and] security of supply must be guaranteed, and that is what I will do,” he said, adding that the two things should not be set against each other in the medium term. “ The only thing that belongs to no one is the wind and the sun. […] These energies will be unprecedentedly cheap once they have been built up,” he concluded.

Earlier this week Habeck said his ministry will assess whether to let coal and nuclear plants scheduled for closure stay open to ensure a secure power supply. While this option is now debated by politicians and the energy sector, Habeck also said that initial examinations had shown that “for the winter of 2022/23 nuclear power will not help us”. Preparations for the upcoming shutdowns are so far advanced, he said, that the nuclear power plants can only continue to operate "under the highest safety concerns and possibly with fuel supplies that have not yet been secured."

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