Dgermany still has to accelerate the energy transition after the Russian attack on Ukraine. “Energy policy is not just a question of price. Energy policy is also security policy,” said Scholz on Wednesday evening at the Federal Association of Renewable Energies. “That’s why we now have to put the turbo gear into the expansion of renewable energy.”
Every wind turbine, every photovoltaic and biomass system contributes to reducing dependence on countries like Russia and keeping the energy supply affordable. Russia uses energy as a political weapon. Nobody believes there are really technical reasons for cutting gas supplies, he said. Scholz confirmed that the climate policy goals, which envisage an 80 percent share of renewable energies in the electricity supply by 2030, will not be deviated from. He also warned industry representatives to get by without government subsidies. On the contrary, if renewable energies had prevailed, companies would also have to pay taxes. “If you are already representing the business model of the future, you have to give up the idea that you still want subsidies in 2050,” said Scholz.
“Slipping into a recession”
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) warns of a loss of purchasing power, credit crunch and investment weakness due to rising energy prices. “The dynamism that is now being created by speculation about fossil fuels alone threatens to slide into a recession,” he said on Wednesday evening at an event organized by the Association of Bavarian Business (vbw) in Munich. Association President Wolfram Hatz called on Habeck to extend the life of the last three German nuclear power plants, which Habeck rejected.
All three scenarios are “not quite there yet,” said the Economics Minister. “But they threaten to hit the German economy deeply, regardless of whether Putin completely turns off the gas tap or not.” The good thing is that the federal government can give political answers to all three scenarios in order to maintain purchasing power, maintain the flow of credit and encourage investment.
Approximately 50 percent of society are “running towards a situation where they earn less than they spend,” said Habeck on the loss of purchasing power. There is a growing reluctance to invest in companies, and there is a growing reluctance among banks to grant loans. “In addition to a weak purchasing power, there is a scenario in which a capital or credit crunch threatens the economic strength of this country.”
Restriction of the energy supply
Habeck named a speculation-driven restriction of the energy supply as the third risk: “Because you might think that in December, when it becomes clear, I won’t be able to make any more returns, and now I’m holding back the possibility of energy supply in order to get even higher prices, then Suddenly there really isn’t a supply of energy.”