Rösler Getting Something Right on Energy Shift

I just watched a recent television discussion featuring German Minister of Economy Rösler (FDP) and Green politician Jürgen Trittin (former Minister of Environment).

He presented the usual propaganda talking points against solar, confirming me in my view that the most urgent task in German politics is to get rid of the FDP in the elections coming up next year.

Fortunately, the FDP is under 5% right now in all the polls. I think everybody supporting renewable energy in Germany needs to understand that the FDP is the worst enemy of renewable energy of all parties, and start campaigning actively against them. I understand that this is a large majority of 93 percent.

Of course, even if the FDP survives the next elections, that would be bad news for renewable energy and the climate, but they don’t get to decide alone on policy with barely 5 percent of votes. Even now, the damage Rösler can do is strongly limited by the fact that he would need a majority to actually abolish the Law on Priority for Renewable Energy, and he won’t get such a majority either at the federal or at the State level.

But, all things equal, I sure feel strongly that the FDP needs to be defeated decisively.

He got one point right, though. As he explained, there is no one interested in building new fossil fuel capacity. And he even got the reason right. Since the ever growing share of renewable energy gets priority and has much lower marginal cost, coal and gas plants get to run much less hours per year. The lower capacity factor cuts into their economic viability. Solar is eating coal’s lunch, and wind is eating its dinner.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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