Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government said it may have to scrap some of its targets for shifting the source of its electricity supply, a move that would water down a commitment to bolster renewable energy in Europe’s biggest economy.
Economy Minister Philipp Roesler told today’s Bild newspaper that Germany may readjust targets linked to the plan to exit nuclear energy-generation by 2022 if jobs are threatened. The comments came a day after Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told Bild the coalition may fail to reach a goal to cut power consumption 10 percent by 2020. Merkel said July 14 that Germany probably won’t use carbon capture and storage facilities after passing the required bill in parliament.
“Instead of questioning targets or declaring the entire energy switch a failure, we now need the right decisions for more energy efficiency, grid expansion and smart market design,” Claudia Kemfert, the chief energy expert at the Berlin-based DIW economic institute, said today by e-mail.
The government is struggling to grasp the scale of the effort needed to shift Germany away from nuclear power 16 months after Merkel promised to phase out reactors in favor of renewable such as solar and wind following the meltdown in Japan. Merkel named Altmaier in May to steer the overhaul after sacking his predecessor, Norbert Roettgen, amid reports that he wasn’t listening to industry concerns about the transition.