05 Apr 2022, 13:30
Benjamin Wehrmann

Russia’s war spells end for NIMBY approach on energy transition in Germany – op-ed


The renewed push for renewable energy expansion in Germany leaves no more room for the NIMBY (not in my backyard) mentality that has long stalled the buildout of wind turbines, solar farms and other modern energy infrastructure in the country, Max Haerder writes in an op-ed for the WirtschaftsWoche. “Also, nature conservation areas will now become wind farm locations. That’s just the beginning,” Haerder writes, after the government presented a compromise between the economy and climate ministry and the environment ministry on renewables expansion in ecologically sensitive areas. Economy and climate minister Robert Habeck, from the Green Party, in January for the first time called for more “ecologic patriotism” that would allow to simultaneously reduce emissions and become more independent from fossil fuel imports by building more renewables. Even before Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his war on Ukraine, the Green Party made the energy transition a matter of survival. “Now, that has become a reality,” Haerder writes, adding that “energy policy is now security is now defence policy.” Every new turbine “becomes charged with geopolitical significance, every solar roof becomes an anti-Putin banner, and buying gas from the United Arab Emirates is still morally superior to buying it from Russia”. The Ukraine war has hardened Habeck’s position that the country can no longer afford “a long search for an energy transition consensus”. Instead, renewables and grids “have to be built. Right now”.

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