The head of the energy and climate policy unit at BDI, Germany’s largest industry body, says that without a unified approach to energy from all European member states, nothing like an ideal energy policy can exist.

Dr Joachim Hein
(pictured) told Power Engineering International, “There is not (and cannot be) THE ideal energy mix for Germany, let alone for Europe with 28 very different Member States.” He added that the rate of transformation being currently demanded by policy-makers is ‘mind boggling’ when compared to the culture of energy planning in previous decades.
Dr Joachim Hein
This past week has seen the German and European business lobby react positively to a checking of supports for renewable energy in the bloc, something that has been perceived by business interests as significantly eroding Europe’s overall industrial competitiveness.

In the light of this week’s reversals for renewables, Power Engineering International asked Dr Hein what he thought would be the optimal state of energy affairs in Europe from his members’ perspective.

Referring to it as ‘the $100m question’ Dr Hein told Pei, “We agree with the long-term goal of achieving a low carbon transition, and this process has to be steered very carefully in a very considerate manner as there are so many different stakeholders that need to be taken on board. Of course it is and will continue to be an incredibly complex process given the complex energy system structures in Germany and the EU.”
 
“The BDI has said over and over again (and we will continue to do so) that such a process can eventually only be successful if we succeed in “Europeanising” this process. If Member States can build up the necessary trust in a common European energy approach and coordinate their actions better and cooperate more closely, for example when it comes to establishing a truly European grid.”
 
Dr Hein added that the rate of change being asked of the entire EU energy and business infrastructure is the most difficult aspect to recent energy policy-making.

“In my personal view perhaps the most challenging feature of this process is the time schedule. Compared to what we have done in earlier decades the plans for this low carbon transition imply a rate of transformation that is just mind-boggling.”

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