German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says in response to the question about the energy turnaround in times of the Putin war: “Now more than ever”. The energy turnaround is now to happen very quickly. But how?
In the first quarter of 2022, not a single wind turbine was erected in Bavaria and only very few in the rest of Germany. And anyone who wants to have a solar system installed on their roof in June 2022 will usually be told by tradesmen “Maybe later”. So how is a rapid energy turnaround supposed to succeed in this situation?
The most important renewable energy sources are sun and wind. But for this, the EU needs its own manufacturers of the technologies, i.e. solar factories and wind turbine producers. And these are precisely what is lacking. Currently, 98% of the photovoltaic systems installed in Germany come from China, a country with totalitarian leadership, total contempt for human rights and the largest surveillance state in the world.
The next dependency
Here lurks the next great dependency. Instead of Putin’s gas and oil, solar plants from China in the future? If the energy turnaround in Europe is to be a success, or even “Now more than ever,” then at least 100 large solar factories must be built quickly in the EU, the former head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, Professor Eicke Weber, has calculated. And many wind turbine manufacturers need new opportunities.
The EU urgently needs to strengthen its renewable energy manufacturers, something that has been criminally neglected so far. In Germany alone, well over 100,000 jobs in solar and wind have been lost to China in the last 12 years. For the last three federal governments, preserving yesterday’s coal jobs was far more important than jobs in future energy sources. An unbelievable scandal and a grandiose as well as economic stupidity.
For coal jobs, the Chancellor has just found warm words at the Katholikentag in Stuttgart, solar and wind jobs he has not mentioned.
Some well-known German wind turbine manufacturers are struggling under low-cost global competition, without any help from politicians. But they still do with coal. Politically nothing is more dangerous than after the dependence on Russia for fossil energy sources now new dependence on China for renewable energies.
The EU must now finally make it a priority to strengthen its renewable energy industry. Of course, this also applies to the production of batteries for electric cars. China is building the first large battery factory in Thuringia. Is that necessary? After all, we have Bosch and Siemens. But even today, batteries are predominantly manufactured in East Asia.
China is also a leader in the all-important semiconductor industry. The shares of Siemens-Energy are falling dramatically and the North German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex has to close its production facility with 500 jobs in Rostock in these weeks. German governments have spent well over 500 billion euros of taxpayers’ money on nuclear and coal in recent decades. But technologies for the future are still being neglected in this country.
Germany must finally become independent
Now, however, the EU and the 27 national governments in the EU must ensure that renewable energy manufacturers in the EU can play a central role worldwide in the future. All they need for this is start-up subsidies. After all, renewable energies are unbeatably cheap today because the sun and wind don’t send a bill – while the old energy sources are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. Germany and Europe must strengthen their renewable energy sources, otherwise they will play no role in the all-important future energy and climate foreign policy. This is the survival issue for humanity.
FRANZ ALT 2022 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)