Appeal – No more delays: Transition to 100% Renewable Energy now

No more delays: Transition to 100% Renewable Energy now

In mid-April the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) formally submitted its draft proposal for the Renewable Energy Act 2016 (EEG 2016). This marks the beginning of the official political process to convert the successful Feed-in Tariff law into a tendering model. Numerous experts and politicians are concerned that this in fact slows down the German Energiewende and, consequently, puts at stake meeting the country`s climate protection targets. Hereby Germany risks losing its global pioneering role on this important issue. Due to this reason, Members of the Bundestag across all represented parties, as well as the mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, (SPD) and the Member of the European Parliament Jo Leinen (SPD) have formulated the following appeal to the German federal government:

While the cost of renewable energy is decreasing; technologies are advancing rapidly – Now is the time to set the course for a rapid conversion of our energy supply towards 100% renewables, especially in Germany. This is the only way to ensure the implementation of the goals agreed at the Paris Convention, setting the existentially important objectives for global climate protection. The deliberate slowdown of renewable energy must end.

While the German Federal Government is still receiving credit from the international community for being a pioneer in terms of climate protection and energy transition, the national policy has recently led to alarming investment slumps in renewable energy. In 2015 alone, a 42% decline in green electricity investments was recorded in Germany. At the same time, the expansion of photovoltaic is well below the objective pursued under the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and is, in fact, declining. Research expenditures of German companies for the renewable energy sector are dwindling and the country is about to lose its technological lead.

There is a a growing political contradiction: During the G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria, and the climate negotiations in Paris, the decarbonisation of the economy, supported by a German initiative, became a primary objective. This is absolutely crucial to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius and to break the cycle of risk, crisis and conflict caused by the effects of climate change. The laws of nature are non-negotiable and thus require a fundamental transition in the energy policy of every country.

With the announced amendment of the EEG, Germany will be unable to neither meet its contribution nor uphold its responsibility. Furthermore, the proposal will weaken Germany’s economic position in the global competition.
Climate mitigation and the associated massive expansion of renewable energy are a driving force for innovation and should remain a central component of any successful economic and industrial policy. Already today, electricity gained from wind and solar power is cheaper than fossil or nuclear fuels. For years, the expansion of the renewable energy sector has led to a decreasing in prices at the Energy Exchange, particularly within the industrial sector.

The fact that consumers are not currently benefitting from decreasing purchase prices for electricity suppliers is the result of false market regulations. The proposals for the next EEG amendment would curb inexpensive technologies such as photovoltaic and on-shore wind power.

Similarly counterproductive is the slowdown of the “bottom-up” energy movement amongst citizens. The multiplicity of stakeholders has so far been the driving force of the German energy transition. Current plans for the EEG amendment 2016 could cause a further decline in the expansion of green electricity, while at the same time increasing costs for consumers. In the meantime, other nations are threatening to overtake Germany technologically.

The signatories call for a further development of the EEG in a way that it would i) enable a significant increase of the expansion targets for photovoltaic and inexpensive on-shore wind energy, ii) prioritise decentralised energy transition and active citizen participation and iii) be measured against the German climate protection targets for 2020-2050.

SIGNATORIES

CSU/CDU
Josef Göppel

SPD
Ulrich Kelber, MdB
Marco Bülow, MdB
Peter Feldmann, Bürgermeister Frankfurt
Jo Leinen, MdEP

GRÜNE
Julia Verlinden, MdB
Peter Meiwald, MdB
Dieter Janecek, MdB
Annalena Baerbock MdB

Linke
Eva Bulling-Schröter, MdB
Caren Lay, MdB

The current version of the Feed-in Tariff 2016 has been drafted by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology (BMWi), but still requires final coordination with the German Federal Government. The appeal was initiated by Ulrich Kelber, state secretary of the German Minister for Justice and Consumer Protection and Ambassador of the Global100% RE Campaign.

Thursday, April 21st, 2016