BEconomics Minister Robert Habeck wants to examine state guarantees for an expansion of production capacities in Germany as part of the energy transition. The Greens politician said on Monday in Berlin after consultations with industry representatives that it was about production or purchase guarantees. He made it clear that in addition to the expansion of green electricity, the goal is also to rebuild the industrial production of systems in Germany.
The market is very unsettled, said Habeck. The manufacturers said they only invest when the orders are there. “However, we cannot afford to wait and see because it will mean that production will take place somewhere else in the world.” The political goal is to build a functioning market. “Over this phase we will need government measures to support confidence in the markets,” said Habeck. Approval procedures for new wind turbines, for example, would have to be accelerated, and access to capital for investments in production capacities would have to be facilitated.
One suggestion from the industry is that the state create production or purchase guarantees, said Habeck. This could make sense because so far the production of systems has only started when the order is there – but the order is only awarded once the approval has been received. With guarantees, the ramp-up of the industry could be correspondingly faster. The instrument has “a lot of charm”. The Ministry of Economic Affairs is examining whether it is a legally viable option.
More wind turbines and solar cells
The federal government wants to expand renewable energies from wind and sun significantly in the coming years in order to achieve climate goals and become less dependent on fossil fuels.
Habeck said that sufficient availability of the appropriate systems and technologies in Germany and Europe is crucial. From Habeck’s point of view, this has become even more urgent with the US program “Inflation Reduction Act”. The USA also want to massively promote the expansion of green electricity with the law, but combine this with obligations to invest in the USA. Germany and other European countries fear that European companies will therefore focus more on this market and invest there. The US program makes sense for the climate, but in terms of industrial policy it is a challenge to which the Europeans have to give an answer, said Habeck.
Hermann Albers, President of the German Wind Energy Association, said that stable orders are the most important basis for achieving market success. Approval procedures urgently need to be shortened.
Jörg Ebel, President of the German Solar Industry Association, said the most important factor for building production capacity is the home market. There is great entrepreneurial interest in rebuilding the European solar industry. Billions in investments would be needed. One stands in a location competition with China, the USA and India.
Around a decade ago, the German solar industry had lost its great importance in the face of competition from Asia. Many companies had to file for bankruptcy or were sold abroad.