Siemens AG, Europe’s biggest engineering company, said Germany can cut the cost of its switch to renewable energy from nuclear power by 150 billion euros ($196 billion) by focusing on gas and sea-based wind generators.
Germany can reduce spending in part by raising energy-efficiency efforts and reforming the power market to favor natural gas over more heavily polluting coal, Siemens Chief Executive Officer Peter Loescher said today.
“We want more environmental protection at less cost,” Loescher told reporters in Berlin. “A misguided energy policy may not immediately lead to a mass exodus of the German industry, but may result in a creeping loss of economic strength. And that can cost jobs.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is attempting to lead the biggest transition to renewables of any developed country in history, seeking to more than triple the share of renewable power by 2050 to 80 percent of the nation’s consumption. Even so, Germany’s carbon-dioxide emissions rose 2 percent last year as more coal was burned to generate power, the Environment Ministry said in February.
Excessive subsidies for solar power, paid for through surcharges, are weighing on consumer electricity bills, and German greenhouse-gas emissions are rising as the current regulatory and economic environment leads to dirtier coal-fired power stations replacing gas units, Loescher said.
Germany should overhaul its clean-energy subsidy system, and rely on natural-gas plants as well as offshore wind farms to produce “reliable” electricity and reduce costs, he said.