Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Merkel sacks the main architect of Germany´s controversial energy transition

German Chanchellor Angela Merkel today fired the main architect of the her government´s energy transition policy (Energiewende), Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, who lost a major election for Merkel´s CDU party in North Rhine-Westfalia last Sunday. 

Although the election loss sealed Röttgen´s fate, the Chancellor knows that criticism of the energy transition policy - which according to the wellknown industrialist and environmentalist Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt is destroying the country´s prosperity - is growing. 

Merkel said her energy policy, which envisages a radical increase in the use of renewable energy sources in the coming decades, faced major challenges and that a "fresh start" with a new minister would help to master them.
"The energy revolution is a central plan of this term and the foundations for it have been laid but we still have a lot of work to do," Merkel said in her statement. "It is evident that the implementation will require major efforts and that is why the Environment Ministry plays an important role in this respect."
Merkel's energy plans have made little progress since she announced an early phaseout of nuclear power in March 2011, in a major U-turn that followed the Fukushima nuclear accident. Key questions remain unresolved, such as the expansion of the national power grid and the construction of new gas-fired power plants.

Read the entire article here

It is unlikely that Röttgen´s successor will be able to do very much, unless the entire Energiewende is dumped. But that is a decision Angela Merkel probably does not have the courage to make. The CDU is most likely going to lose the  next parliamentary election, but the likely winners - the social democrats and the greens - will make the German energy future even worse. So be prepared for unstable times in the still rather succesful economic powerhouse of Europe.

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