Who is Eric Schweitzer?

As I learn from this article at Photovoltaik-Magazin (in German), Eric Schweitzer just said in an interview that the feed-in tariff for new solar capacity should be ended in Germany immediately after the next election in September. He objects to the fact that feed-in tariffs are higher than the wholesale price of electricity.

He almost has a point there. The present electricity market is broken. It does not reflect the cost of the various forms of electricity generation correctly. Having wholesale prices at this low level invites this kind of anti-solar propaganda attack, even though it is kind of silly at this point.

Of course, the argument “oh my god, look at those high solar costs” is not really ever so convincing now, with solar feed-in tariffs already at about half of what consumers pay for electricity from the grid. And the reason the wholesale prices have gone down is exactly because there is so much solar and wind in the market now. Would Schweitzer rather have us switch off solar and pay for fossil fuel price hikes instead?

So who is Eric Schweitzer and why would anyone care about his views?

He is head of DIHK (Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce). That gives him somewhat of a megaphone for his strange views about solar energy.

Readers may recall that already last November 13% of his Member Firms have built their own solar capacity, and a further 16% had plans to do so, with a view of consuming the generated electricity themselves. In other words, this particular enemy of solar energy is certainly not speaking for his Member Firms. They seem to have rather different ideas.

The Wikipedia article on Eric Schweitzer tells us that he is heading a company called ALBA Group founded by his father.

The funny thing is, that company is actually mainly engaged in the environmental protection business, with a strong recycling interest.

So why is the head of ALBA Group, a company that can reasonably be described as doing good for the planet and the environment, coming out as an enemy of renewable energy, especially of solar energy?

That doesn’t make much sense to me.



Published by kflenz

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: