Preventing the collapse of energy market German economics minister will do “whatever it takes”
Berlin · German Economics Minister Habeck intends to prevent the collapse of the energy market at all costs. But for people who live in Germany, the cost will be steep - "up to one month's income for a family”.
According to Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), the German government will do everything in its power to secure gas supplies in Germany.
Speaking about a possible collapse of the market, Habeck said Wednesday evening on the ZDF program "Markus Lanz" that it will not happen. "This is now that moment of "Whatever it takes," it won't happen," he said, echoing remarks made by former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi. The Italian had once promised to save the euro with "whatever it takes”.
Referring to the threat of losing all Russian gas supplies, Habeck stressed: "We are not just passively standing by and observing what is happening." After all, he said, it had been possible to maintain a secure supply in Germany despite gas deliveries being cut by 60 percent. But people who live in Germany must be prepared for an expensive winter. The price increases in the fall and winter of 2022/23 are expected be "in the four-digit range per household. And that can be a monthly income for a family." The Green politician is encouraging people to save their money right now.
In order to save gas in anticipation of the cutback in Russian supplies, less gas is to be used for the production of electricity - instead, more coal-fired power plants are to be used again. The Bundestag was expected to vote on the relevant amendments to the law late on Thursday evening.
Habeck also stressed on Thursday the importance of the planned legislative package for a faster expansion of renewable energies. The Green politician said in the Bundestag that the package is the largest in the energy sector in recent years, probably decades. It would implement necessary and urgently needed changes. The Bundestag was to vote on the package on Thursday.
A key point is that the federal states are to provide more land for wind turbines. Different targets are to be applied for each state because there are different conditions for the expansion of wind energy.
Habeck: Make the states responsible for developing green electricity
Habeck spoke of a fair and equitable distribution. At the same time, he said that the federal states would be held accountable. The expansion targets would have to be taken on together in a joint effort.
The expansion of new wind turbines has stalled in recent years, mainly because too few areas have been designated for them. Matthias Miersch, vice chairman of the SPD parliamentary group, said it would no longer be possible for the states to avoid them. The coalition will have to step up its efforts to speed up planning and approval procedures.
The CDU energy politician Andreas Jung spoke of a package of missed opportunities. Habeck had not sought dialogue with the CDU/CSU and had not organized a round table with the states. Instead, the coalition government was governing without seeking input. Jung also criticized the fact that Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) was not present at the debate. "The seat for the climate chancellor is empty."
Orig. text: dpa