Oettinger: Speed Limit for Renewable Energy

According to SPIEGEL, EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger just called for a “speed limit” for renewable energy in Germany. He is worried about stability.

That doesn’t make any sense. Whatever renewable capacity will be added to the system from now on can only increase stability, since there will always be more electricity available with more generating capacity. If one worries about stability, one needs to find a policy that keeps existing fossil fuel capacity available until there is enough storage capacity on the market (preferably over the option of converting electricity to gas in time slots where there is insufficient demand). Reducing renewable capacity won’t help with that goal.

Oettinger also called for a more coordinated European renewable energy policy. This kind of call has always been unsuccessful. It is for the Member States to decide how they want to shape their renewable energy policy. Listening to Oettinger’s strange views, I am quite happy about that.

As Oettinger knows, Germany needs to replace nuclear capacity within ten years, and phase out fossil fuel until 2050 to counter global warming. To achieve that, the last thing we need is “speed limits”.

Update: It has been brought to my attention that the article at SPIEGEL is already rather old, it dates from last August. I didn’t notice that. So my first sentence was wrong, Oettinger did not “just” say that.


Published by kflenz

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

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