WBecause of the gas crisis, the Bundestag has cleared the way for temporarily using more coal-fired power plants to generate electricity. At the same time, late Thursday evening, MPs decided to ease state aid for ailing energy companies like Uniper. As an option, a pay-as-you-go system can also be created so that gas price increases for energy suppliers can be passed on more evenly to customers. However, the Federal Government wants to prevent this instrument from having to be used.
The amendments to the law passed by the Bundestag are to be passed by the Bundesrat on Friday. They are a reaction to the severe throttling of Russian gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. In order to save gas, less gas is now to be used to produce electricity. Instead, coal-fired power plants are to be used for a transitional period, which are currently only available to a limited extent, are about to be shut down or are in reserve. The Federal Ministry of Economics had already announced that it would prepare the necessary ministerial regulation at the same time in order to set the so-called gas replacement reserve in motion.
The Bundestag rejected an amendment by the Union parliamentary group that aimed to extend the lifetime of nuclear power plants. The CDU and CSU had proposed that the federal government be allowed to continue running the three remaining German nuclear power plants in addition to coal-fired power plants. The FDP had recently campaigned for this – however, the Free Democrats were unable to assert themselves in the coalition against the SPD and Greens.
Green boss from Habeck’s constituency resigns in protest
In protest against the nature conservation policy of Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), the Greens district chief has resigned in his constituency. A few hours after the adoption of the new legislative package to promote renewable energies in the Bundestag, the Schleswig-Flensburg district chairman of Bündnis 90/Grüne, Rainer Borcherding, announced on Thursday evening: “I support the efforts to accelerate the urgently overdue energy transition in all essential points .” But: “The new wind and nature conservation laws at federal level, in which Robert Habeck played a major role as Minister for Economic Affairs, are unbearable in their effect on biodiversity.”
The biologist Borcherding told the German Press Agency: “It is a large overall package of serious disappointments from a nature conservation point of view.” He has known Habeck for a long time and also campaigned with him on the street. “It was always my impression that nature conservation was not a matter of the heart for him”. There is no party dedicated to nature conservation, except for the Greens – “and the Greens don’t do it anymore either.”
The new legislative package contains a series of cuts in nature conservation, wrote Borcherding, who is active in the protection of the Wadden Sea in Schleswig-Holstein, in his resignation. Endangered bird species such as the black stork and great bustard are deliberately ignored in the law, although they are protected by law throughout Europe. In addition, it is almost impossible to buy agricultural land for species conservation programs. And: The smallest hydroelectric power plants on rivers, “which only generate minimal electricity, but maximally damage the river”, would continue to be subsidized, contrary to EU law.