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Editorial April

Editorial April
HH Media Server/Christian Brandes

After the problematic situation with energy supply and climate protection in 2023, the new year brought some positive news for 2024. In March, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action announced that the climate protection goal for 2030 was now looking easily achievable on the basis of a forecast by the German Environment Agency (UBA). It also presented new data showing that coal-fired power generation had reduced dramatically by 31% in 2023 – despite Germany’s phase-out of nuclear power in April 2023. Earlier in the year, a record capacity of 14 gigawatts of solar power was reported for the year 2023. After four patchy years, the increase in land-based wind energy had also significantly recovered with an installed capacity of 3.6 GW. Electricity and gas prices have nearly returned to pre-war levels.

While not everything is perfect, the various figures clearly show that many of the measures taken are having an effect and that there are no grounds for horror scenarios. However, it’s also clear that a lot of the work in energy supply still needs to be caught up on, where previous governments did nothing or too little. Not least, the electricity and energy markets need to be future-proofed; smart meters need to become standard in Germany. There also needs to be progress in transport in order to expand electromobility for private vehicles faster. Importantly, the energy and grid fees for energy-intensive manufacturing must reduced as much as possible, so that Germany does not lose its heavy industry.

Furthermore, there seems to be a lot of movement in investments in 2024. Many hydrogen projects for decarbonising industry have been legally reviewed for compliance with state aid law and will soon be ready for launch. Last week, the German government announced its intention to co-finance the construction of additional moorings for offshore wind in Cuxhaven. A relatively small investment in harbour infrastructure here can enable many billions of investment in offshore wind parks. A large Canadian delegation visited Hamburg to discuss deliveries of green hydrogen from the east coast of Canada – and important project cooperations were announced. This week, the ground was broken for the new Northvolt battery gigafactory in Heide.

In this positive spirit, we can quote the parting motto adopted by one German newsreader during the pandemic: “Stay confident”. Let’s give ourselves courage to say goodbye to the nightmare scenarios of party political failure and get to work with more pragmatism. We won’t be able to make up for all the time lost over the last few decades. But together we can achieve a great deal, giving impetus to the energy transition with renewed confidence!

About Jan Rispens

Profilbild zu: Jan Rispens

Jan Rispens is an electrical engineering graduate and has been Managing Director of the EEHH Cluster Agency since it was founded in 2011. He’s worked in the sustainable energy supply and climate protection sector for 20 years.