German Green Power Targets Wobble in Merkel Policy Revamp
(Bloomberg) -- Germany is revamping expansion plans for wind and solar power over the coming decade, exposing differences within the government over just how much is needed to meet Europe’s carbon reduction goals.
A bill now in parliament aims to set new targets and financial support for clean power to accommodate Europe’s plan to bump up carbon emission cuts to 55% by 2030. Lawmakers from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition are divided over the targets’ scope, with Social Democrats backing energy think tanks and utilities calling for a much faster build out of renewables than earmarked in the bill.
Led by Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, critics of the bill said the EU’s carbon reduction target entails Germany cutting pollution 65% by 2030, not by 55% as set out in the legislation. The higher target is the result of EU burden-sharing rules linked to the size of member states’ economies.
Fretting over costs, Merkel’s Christian Democrats and her Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier are unwilling to increase green power targets, creating an impasse for the bill due to be passed next week, and an unresolved fight over how wind and solar will grow this decade.
Germany isn’t alone among the EU-27 to struggle with digesting the implications of the sweeping climate plans. EU leaders may delay a decision on the carbon targets slated for Dec. 10-11 amid divisions, a report said Thursday.
The hiccups mask a quandary for the government, said Rainer Baake, a former state secretary in the Economy and Energy Ministry, who now heads the Stiftung Climate Neutrality, a foundation. Solar must expand three-fold today to help Germany meet the EU’s climate goal, Baake said on the phone Thursday.
Merkel’s government is “wittingly or not” failing to grasp the implications of achieving carbon neutrality by mid century, Baake said.
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