19 Oct 2022, 13:20
Carolina Kyllmann

Skilled workers and supply chains take front seat in German energy transition plans - govt

Clean Energy Wire

To succeed in the energy transition, Germany will focus on warranting secure supply chains and reliable production capacities required for renewable expansion, as well as filling skilled worker gaps in the renewable energy sector, chancellor Olaf Scholz said after the second Alliance for Transformation meeting, a dialogue platform comprised of politicians, business, trade unions, scientists and civil society representatives. “The next eight years are decisive for Germany. During this time, we need to create the conditions so that the transformation we are talking about actually becomes a reality,” Scholz said, adding that turning the German economy into a climate-neutral and sustainable one is the single greatest task the country faces.

Securing a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply, as well as becoming more independent from energy imports can both be achieved through the expansion of renewable energies, Scholz said. The alliance agreed on four priorities to successfully achieve this: accelerating planning approval; increasing energy generation in Europe; pioneering future technologies; and inspiring young people to take up professions that support the energy transition. A fast expansion of renewables in Germany depends on two factors: material and people, the chancellor explained. Regarding the first, secure supply chains and reliable production capacities are key, as well as the promotion of new technologies. Regarding the second, filling skilled worker gaps in the renewable sector should be prioritised, and the government plans to develop a campaign to increase the attractiveness jobs in the energy transition sector for young people.  

The Alliance for Transformation was established by Scholz’s government earlier this year and focuses on long-term plans needed to succeed in the energy transition by jointly shaping the necessary transformation processes that can make Germany more climate-friendly, digital and resilient. To secure energy supply and tackle skyrocketing energy prices resulting from reduced fossil energy imports from Russia, the German government has accelerated the expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, brought coal power plants back online and will keep its three remaining nuclear power plants on the grid until April 2023. The country plans to become climate neutral by 2045, but a shortage of skilled workers could hamper renewables expansion and threaten its ambitious energy transition targets.

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