The ambitious goal of Germany’s energy concept for the next 40 years “Energiewende” is to create a model for secure, affordable and climate friendly energy supply. It entails all nuclear power plants to go offline by 2022, 80%-95% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050, a significant growth of the renewable energy share in the energy mix and an essential increase in energy efficiency.
From 22 – 24 January 2013 one of, if not the most important German energy industry conference will take place in Berlin. Among the topics for keynotes and panel discussions are: “The German Government’s “Energiewende” in a national and international context”, “Cost, opportunities, risks of the “Energiewende” – setting the right framework conditions”, “Stress testing the transformation of the energy system: Development of security of supply and costs by 2020”, and “The “Energy turnaround” and its impact on Germany as an industrial location”.
More than 1,200 participants with 70 % executives and board managers from energy industry companies will meet in Berlin, discussing next steps to make Germany’s Energiewende a success. Among them are the ministers of the Ministry for the Environment, Peter Altmaier and the Ministry for Economics, Philipp Roessler, having the biggest dispute about regulatory aspects of the Energiewende. Also attending is Guenther Oettinger the European Commissioner for Energy who urged the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to create a German Energy Ministry. We might hear some new arguments from these gentlemen re their plans to make Germany’s Energiewende a success.
An interesting alternative and compromise all ministries might be able to live with is the National Forum Energiewende, announced in December by BDEW (German Association of Energy and Water Industries) and WWF. The forum would act as a neutral and transparent platform carefully listening to all stakeholders. A neutral platform could be better positioned to ensure ongoing sociopolitical support in an increasing diverse and decentralized energy mix in Germany. Time is pressing because decisions such as having the consumer paying for “ready to deliver but not yet connected offshore windparks” are not ideally suited to mobilize a lot more Energiewende supporters for the existing government among voters. The price per kilowatt hour for households rose by appr. 20% since 2008 while the price for energy intensive industry customers dropped by the same amount.