Germany's Energy Transition Dream at Risk of Becoming Nightmare

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Rigzone hears Wintershall's exploration and production director warn that Germany's 'Energiewende' dream of pursuing an economy powered by renewables is in danger of turning into a nightmare.

Wintershall's head of exploration and production warned Wednesday that Germany's 'Energiewende' (or Energy Transition) dream of pursuing an economy powered by the wind and the sun is in danger of turning into a nightmare.

Speaking to energy journalists at the ONS exhibition in Stavanger, Norway, Wintershall Executive Director Martin Bachmann said he was concerned about figures recently published by Statistics Norway that showed overall investment in Norway's petroleum sector will drop by EUR 6 billion ($7.9 billion) next year

"That is actually bad news for Europe's security of supply and I think Germany – as the biggest market in Europe – has played a large part in creating this uncertainty," Bachmann said. 

"With the so-called 'Energiewende' – Energy Transition – Germany is pursuing a great dream: that one day it can live from the air and the sun alone. But when you look at the facts today, this dream is in danger of turning into a nightmare."

For it to realize its Energy Transition dream, "Germany must remind itself of why the Energy Transition was launched in the first place", Bachmann said, pointing out that the country needs to develop an energy provision that is at the same time ecological, secure and affordable.

"Let me be clear on that. The ecological goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and not actually the share of renewables in the energy supply," Bachmann said.

"Now, unfortunately we are a very long way from that. What is clear is that renewables have to play an important role in the Energy Transition. However, renewables need reliable partner technologies that balance out the fluctuations in the wind and the sun's power, and which ensure that the energy supply remains secure and affordable.


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A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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Jan | Sep. 16, 2014
It is quite remarkable that Germany, under these circumstances, does not go back to the use of nuclear power to get almost all the ennergy they need. The cause of shutting this powersource down obviously was the trouble in Japan - but actually that trouble was not primarily caused by the reactors but by the tsunamy. It is another example of making a political decision rather than a technical one.

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