Germany execs support energy transition, but warn of cost: VCI

14 November 2013 16:41  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--German executives broadly support the country’s energy transition, but “not at any price”, German chemical industry trade group VCI said on Thursday, citing the results of a survey it commissioned.

Under its
energy transition, known as “Energiewende”, Germany aims to exit nuclear power generation while rapidly building up energy supplies from renewable sources.

VCI said that 77% of the 700 executives from industry, public administration, science and media it surveyed were in favour of the Energiewende.

However, the transition must not go at the expense of employment, job creation or Germany’s international competitiveness, the executives said.

Also, 60% of the executives were in favour of keeping in place exemptions Germany-based energy-intensive industrial producers have from the country’s system of subsidising renewables through surcharges on electricity prices.

VCI added that the survey showed that there was increasingly less willingness to accept high electricity prices in order to promote energy from wind, solar or biomass sources.

“The successful implementation of the Energiewende is an important goal – but not at any price,” VCI general manager Utz Tillmann said in commenting on the survey findings.

“[The transition] must be in line with strengthening Germany as a site for industrial production and the safeguarding of jobs, that’s what the survey clearly shows,” he added.

The Energiewende and its costs are key topics in negotiations between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats to form a new coalition government. The Christian Democrats won September's election, but they do not have a majority of seats in parliament.

Frankfurt-based VCI represents about 1,650 Germany-based chemical firms.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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