The leader of Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) said on Friday a new government must move quickly to rein in rising energy costs in order to safeguard the competitiveness of German industry.
Speaking a day after the SPD leadership agreed to enter formal coalition negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, Gabriel called Germany’s renewable energy law (EEG) an impediment to a successful exit from nuclear power.
“The EEG was a wonderful law when we wanted to support new technologies to make them competitive. Today, in its current form, it is the biggest obstacle for the energy shift,” Gabriel said in a speech at a union event in Hanover.
“We need to ensure that renewable energy is affordable. And we need to put an end to the idea that we can pull out of nuclear and coal simultaneously. This won’t work.” […]
Gabriel, a former environment minister who is expected to get one of the top cabinet posts in a ‘grand coalition’ led by Merkel, said ensuring the competitiveness of German firms was at the top of his priority list.
“That means shaping the energy shift in such a way that costs are kept under control, that supply is secure, and that we are not fighting ideological wars over coal, gas and renewables,” Gabriel said.
“We need a step by step approach on the development of renewable energy, but not an approach that causes lasting damage to German industry.”