Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has asked Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) to stop electricity production using gas. "We have to work to ensure that the gas crisis is not accompanied by an electricity crisis," Lindner told the "Bild am Sonntag". "Therefore, electricity can no longer be produced with gas, as is still happening." Habeck would have the legal authority to prevent this, added Lindner.
In this context, the finance minister once again advocated the continued operation of the nuclear power plants in Germany in order to obtain “other electricity capacities”. "There is much to be said for not shutting down the safe and climate-friendly nuclear power plants, but using them until 2024 if necessary," he said.
Due to fears of a stop in Russian gas deliveries, a possible extension of the service life of the last three nuclear power plants still in operation in Germany, which according to current nuclear law would have to go offline at the end of December, is currently being discussed. The employers' association Gesamtmetall even advocates the construction of new reactors in Germany.
President Stefan Wolf told the "Funke Mediengruppe": "But we also have to have a debate about the construction of new nuclear power plants. 50 new nuclear power plants are currently being built worldwide, and the technology has advanced." Renewable energies would not be sufficient to cover the total electricity demand in the future.
Union and FDP are campaigning to allow at least limited continued operation beyond the turn of the year. The SPD and the Greens in particular are still skeptical. They also do not want to generally rule out at least temporary continued operation in the event of a crisis.
The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr, has promised further relief in view of the rising energy costs. “If energy costs go up, we have to take countermeasures. We must not let consumers fall into the price trap with their eyes wide open," Dürr told the German Press Agency.
According to Dürr, it would be conceivable to reward recipients of unemployment benefit II if they save energy. “Anyone who uses less gas than in previous years could receive part of the heating costs saved as a subsidy. In this way we could also relieve those who are having a particularly difficult time in this crisis.
Dürr went on to say that Finance Minister Lindner had announced relief for low-income earners and for small and medium-sized businesses. “We want to make this possible by abolishing cold progression and allowing the commuter allowance to take effect earlier. That would also relieve the workers who depend on buses and trains.”
Because of the state gas levy, companies and private households will probably be charged an additional several hundred euros per year. From autumn, the levy is to benefit gas suppliers who have to buy replacement gas from Russia at high prices for the missing gas volumes.