The greens have been aflutter for years about Germany’s energiewende, or “energy revolution,” partly because it involves a lot of their sacred windmills and solar panels and partly because it’s a revolution man, so dig it!
Better put the patchouli-infused hemp robes away for the moment, because Germany is backpedalling fast. From Reuters yesterday:
Germany has abandoned plans to set out a timetable to exit coal-fired power production and scrapped C02 emissions reduction goals for individual sectors, according to the latest draft of an environment ministry document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
An earlier version of the draft document that was leaked in May had suggested that Germany should phase out coal-fired power production “well before 2050” as part of a package of measures to help Berlin achieve its climate goals.
The new version, which was revised following consultation with the economy and energy ministry, has also deleted specific concrete C02 emissions savings targets for the energy, industry, transport and agriculture sectors.
The document forms the government’s national climate action plan for 2050 and lays out how it plans to move away from fossil fuels and achieve its goal of cutting CO2 emissions by up to 95 percent compared to 1990 levels by the middle of the century.
The original proposals met with hefty opposition from unions, coal-producing regions and business groups who said it would cost jobs and damage industry.
Christoph Bals, policy director at environmental NGO Germanwatch, criticized the changes.
“Seven months after the successful climate summit in Paris the government is capitulating to the interests of the fossil fuel industry and missing the chance to give the economy a modernization impulse by presenting clear plans,” he said.
Meanwhile, on a related front, more sensible fallout from Brexit:
Siemens is putting new wind power investment plans in the UK on hold due to uncertainty caused by last week’s Brexit vote, the Germany energy company has told the Guardian.
Siemens, one of the few firms to openly back a Remain vote, will not be making new investments until the future of the UK’s relationship with Europe becomes clearer.
Maybe we should call Germany’s energy policy something like schadenfreudewende instead.