German chems trade groups, union appeal to Merkel over energy reforms

25 September 2012 16:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany's chemical industry workers’ union and trade groups have written to Chancellor Angela Merkel to warn about the costs of the country’s planned energy reforms, the groups said on Tuesday.

In a joint letter, producers group VCI, employers group BAVC and union IG BCE said that the reforms – aimed at phasing out nuclear power by 2022, while expanding renewable energies – must not hurt the international competitiveness of the country’s chemical producers.

The groups said they do not yet see a political concept that would address the reforms' key issues – supply security and looming increases in energy costs.

To ensure continued security of supply, the reforms – known as “Energiewende” – would require the construction of new gas and coal power capacity, as well as investment in the power supply grid, they said. 

Such projects require a broad consensus within Germany's society, the groups added. However, the German people were often reluctant to accept large new projects.

Following last year’s Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan, Germany took eight nuclear power plants – with a total capacity of 8,500MW– offline. The country aims to end all nuclear power generation by 2022.

Chemical production accounts for about 8% of Germany’s overall electricity use, according to VCI.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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