The German energy strategy has reached the halfway point
On 5 September, the ministers of environmental protection and the economy developed a compromise draft new energy policy for Germany. The key guidelines of this strategy include an extension of the operation period of nuclear reactors on average by 12 years, the development of renewable energy sources, which are to cover 50% of electric energy consumption in 2030, and a reduction of energy consumption (especially in the construction industry). The strategy, before being implemented, has yet to be approved by the government and, in the case of the nuclear power sector provisions, by the Constitutional Court (the opposition has promised to contest it).
The compromise on the strategy version was reached after negotiations which took many hours and which were attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Heads of the largest energy corporations, owners of the reactors, also participated in the negotiations remotely, via telephone. The strategy includes provisions beneficial for the corporations. The operation period of the reactors was extended by between 8 and 14 years, depending on their age, and the companies will pay lower taxes and contributions to the RES support fund than originally announced by the government. The adoption of the strategy by the government will probably be a mere formality, but its implementation will face some difficulties in the case of the nuclear power sector. The opposition (the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party) hopes that the governmental concept for the extension of the usage of reactors will be rejected by the Constitutional Court. This issue will certainly be used by the opposition in election campaigns, at both local and federal levels. <ŁAN>