Germany industry wants next govt to act on energy within 100 days

19 September 2013 17:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s top industrial trade group BDI wants its next government, which will be elected on Sunday 22 September, to work within 100 days on “urgently needed” reforms to the country’s energy strategy, it said on Thursday.

“Within the first 100 days after the election, the new government must work with all stakeholders on a reliable roadmap for urgently needed reforms,” BDI managing director Markus Kerber said.

Germany’s energy strategy (“Energiewende”) to exit nuclear power while expanding the renewables sector has been repeatedly criticised by the chemical industry, including this week by LANXESS CEO Axel Heitmann.

Kerber said that government efforts to work out reforms to the Energiewende had stalled, prompting BDI to prepare its own report on needed reforms. 

“The government is not coordinating things, so we see it as our duty to drive the discussion forward," Kerber said.

Above all, BDI is calling for Germany to end some of its policies to support the renewable energy sector, he said.

In particular, new wind or solar power facilities should no longer be granted a fixed feed-in tariff for the electricity they supply into the grid, he said.

BDI is also calling on the government to look at setting up “strategic energy reserve capacities”, and it wants Germany’s energy strategies to be firmly integrated into the European energy sector.

Kerber said that BDI had agreed its proposals with its 38 member associations, including chemical producers trade group VCI.

BDI represents many industries that are hurting from rising energy costs because of the Energiewende, but it also represents industries in the machinery, equipment and electrical sectors where firms are benefiting from those policies.

BDI’s report on concepts and proposals for reform – entitled: “Energiewende: Thinking holistically. Recommendations for a sustainable market design” - is available, in German, on the group’s website.

As for the outcome of Sunday's elections, many political commentators expect that the country will continue to be ruled by Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats in a coalition with either the liberal Free Democrats or the Social Democrats.

Additional reporting by Tom Brown

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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