Interview with Fritz Vahrenholt

Fritz Vahrenholt, former senator for the environment in Hamburg. Foto: Günter Schwering

The German energy transition as currently planned will fail. That is the opinion of Fritz Vahrenholt, former senator for the environment in Hamburg. 80 per cent electricity from renewable energies, as planned by the German government for 2030, cannot be achieved. There will not always be wind and the sun only shines during the day. So backup power plants are needed. The government is relying on natural gas. But gas is expensive and will probably remain so, says Vahrenholt. Moreover, the demand for electricity is rising because of electromobility and heat pumps. If Germany has one of the highest electricity prices in the world today, this situation will probably not improve, but rather worsen. Already today, industrial electricity in the USA and China costs only about a third as much as here in Germany. This damages the competitiveness of the German economy. Instead, Vahrenholt suggests broadening the supply of electricity. His Plan B is as follows: firstly, electricity from offshore wind, secondly from nuclear power plants and thirdly from coal-fired power plants, but with carbon capture.

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