According to the Greens in the state parliament, the energy policy of the CSU and Free Voters provokes rising electricity costs for consumers and companies in Bavaria. “As a strong industrial location, relying on electricity imports is not only ecologically extremely unwise, but also leads economically on a collision course,” said Green parliamentary group leader Ludwig Hartmann to dpa. The state government is thus heading towards rising electricity costs in the Free State.
With a view to the electricity summit on Monday in the State Chancellery, Hartmann called for more efforts to be made in the expansion and use of renewable energies. “Our industry should be able to benefit from cheap and clean wind and solar power. For financial reasons alone, we cannot leave the clean power generation business to others.”
Energy demand not met
Bavaria has long since ceased to be able to cover its own and steadily increasing energy needs with its own production. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Free State had to import around 12.8 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2018 and around 10.8 TWh in 2019. When the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant in the Swabian district of Günzburg goes offline at the end of this year and the last remaining reactor with Isar 2 not far from Landshut a year later, the Bavarian energy balance is likely to be even more deficit from the beginning of 2023.
Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has invited representatives of Bavarian economy and science as well as Federal Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) to talk about the challenges of securing the power supply of Bavaria as a business location on Monday.
“A large part of the economy is on the same wavelength as the Greens and demands faster action – while Söder continues to prevent wind power,” said Hartmann. Instead of promoting modern and sustainable energy generation, the CSU has shoveled the grave for the expansion of wind energy with the wind power prevention law, the 10H rule. According to this, wind turbines must generally be ten times their height from the nearest residential area. “The expansion of renewable energies, including more rapid planning and approval procedures, and support for grid expansion should now have priority.”
Energy transition in Bavaria too
In order to promote the energy transition in Bavaria as well, Hartmann proposes, among other things, the establishment of an expert commission to accelerate planning and approval procedures. In addition, a council of citizens based on the model at the federal level could ensure strong social support for the energy transition. “And we need a renaissance of the regional planning associations with better financial and personnel resources. So that the two percent of the land area required for wind and sun, in which no restrictions such as 10H apply, can be quickly identified.”
The managing director of the Free Voters faction in the state parliament, Fabian Mehring, described the criticism of the Greens as “hot air” and an energy-political “specter”. In recent years there has been “a considerable increase in regenerative energies” through initiatives by the Free Voters, said Mehring. “We have launched an exemplary photovoltaic storage program with 50,000 approved applications and the Free State is the front runner in open-space photovoltaic systems.” The Greens, on the other hand, have “still owed practicable solutions to this day”.