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German utility leaders' demands on the next government

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By Reuters
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FRANKFURT – Germany goes to the polls in September in which outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives are pitted against the ecologist Greens over energy issues, including the best way to protect the climate at an affordable cost.

Following are comments from top managers of electric utilities who were asked by Reuters about their expectations.

Separately, see a factbox on German energy and climate issues.

MARKUSKREBBER, RWECEO

“In order for the ambitious climate goals to be achieved, speed is needed above all (in these areas): raising the expansion targets for renewable energies, approval procedures for new wind and solar power installations, framework conditions for the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy, and also for the security of supply.”

LEONHARDBIRNBAUM, E.ON CEO

“We have to radically unleash and accelerate the modernisation of the energy infrastructure.

“In recent years, politicians have banked on the fact that the local power grids can cope with a more and more fluctuating supply of renewable sources on the one hand, and more and more consumers on the other – (especially if you think of) electro-mobility – without making major investments.

“Clearly, this assumption will not work any longer…we must not run into the same malaise as we have with motorways or mobile phone networks.”

KLAUS-DIETERMAUBACH, UNIPERCEO

“Uniper expects that a new federal government, apart from targets, provides clear framework conditions and – where necessary – funding programmes (e.g. to promote the usage of hydrogen).

“With the decision to phase out nuclear energy and coal, the topic of security of supply will significantly gain in relevance.

“This requires investments in power plants that serve precisely this purpose (providing security).”

THOMASKUSTERERENBWCFO

“We expect the clear implementation of what we have decided to achieve as a country, namely the expansion of renewable energy. We have to speed it up.”