23 Nov 2023, 12:48
Sören Amelang

Steel, renewable industries call for “transformation summit” to overcome Germany’s budget chaos

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s steel and renewable industries have launched a joint call for a “transformation summit” to clarify the urgently needed funding for industry decarbonisation in the wake of last week’s constitutional court ruling. There was a real risk that central decarbonisation projects and the climate-friendly industry transformation as a whole could grind to a standstill if the government didn’t manage to re-establish investment security rapidly, warned Bernhard Osburg, president of steel association WV Stahl. At a joint press conference with renewable energy federation BEE, he said a halt would have massive consequences for the country’s climate targets, competitiveness and jobs. Osburg added the industry urgently needed clarity regarding the future funding for projects in the EU’s Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) programme, climate contracts (Carbon Contracts for Difference CCfDs), as well as the hydrogen ramp-up. Osburg called CCfDs the key policy for the transition. “If we don’t have this tool, many key central projects won’t proceed because there is no business case,” he warned.

Germany’s constitutional court ruled on 15 November that reallocating 60 billion euros in credit authorities meant to tackle the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic into the Climate and Transformation Fund was unconstitutional. The ruling could also have consequences for other parts of the federal budget.

The industry groups called for a summit with the participation of the government, unions and other basic industries, which should be followed by the establishment of a “transformation commission.” BEE head Simone Peter urged the government to rapidly draw the right conclusions after the federal court ruling. “We must not allow insecurity to take hold.” WV Stahl managing director Kerstin Maria Rippel called the alliance between her industry and the renewables lobby “unusual,” but added they needed each other because wind power relied on steel, and clean steel depended on renewables. “The insecurities have risen dramatically over the past week, we both fear dramatic consequences,” Rippel said.

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