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Echos > 2012 > Der Spiegel: German industry moving abroad - Green energy policy to blame

February 24, 2012

Der Spiegel: German industry moving abroad

Green energy policy to blame

"Berlin's energy policy affects all classic industrial sectors, from the steel and aluminum industry to paper and cement manufacturers, as well as the chemical industry. The metal industry, long an important sector in Germany, is already migrating to countries with cheaper electricity."

ThyssenKrupp: "Some 5,000 jobs are in jeopardy within our company alone, because an irresponsible energy policy is being pursued in Düsseldorf and Berlin."

"Electricity makes up a fifth of the mill's total costs, says Harald Behmenburg, the plant manager."
"The price of electricity is moving in only one direction: steeply up. For the Krefeld plant, the cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity has tripled since 2000."

"According to a recent survey by the DIHK, almost one in five industrial companies plans to shift capacities abroad -- or has already done so. The study also finds that almost 60 percent fear power outages or voltage fluctuations in the power grid, because wind and solar power are still too unreliable."

"...there have already been some serious problems caused by split-second power outages, which ordinary consumers don't even notice, but that create difficulties for industry, with its highly complex production processes. Since Merkel's new energy policy was introduced, aluminum manufacturer Norsk Hydro has registered half a million euros in losses at its German plants because of power fluctuations. Even minimal power outages can cause the company's sensitive rollers to seize up."

"Electricity and CO2-emissions costs are so high that the energy-intensive processes in the aluminum smelters is no longer profitable. Energy eats up about 50 percent of costs."

Read the full article: www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,816669,00.html


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