Volker Wieland: "Threat of Russian gas supply freeze: no time for ideological reservations" (Münchner Merkur)

In view of the threat of a supply freeze for Russian gas, the German government must suspend the planned shutdown of nuclear power plants and postpone the coal phase-out, writes Prof. Volker Wieland in an opinion piece for the "Münchner Merkur".

At the latest now, Germany must pull out all the stops to become independent of Russian energy imports as quickly as possible and thus get through the next winters reasonably well, says Wieland. The government must prepare its citizens for the fact that this will affect everyone and will be tough.

He therefore calls for a package of measures to improve the energy supply. "First and foremost, we need to avoid mistakes like shutting down the three nuclear power plants still in operation, Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2 (4300 MW after all), in the middle of winter at the end of the year." A clear perspective for a multi-year extension is needed, he said. This also applies to the three plants shut down at the end of last year. The same applies to the coal phase-out. It must be postponed and, in particular, power plants for generating electricity from lignite must be brought out of reserve. In the process, he is also considering fracking.

"All these measures can increase supply, and thus reduce the inflationary effect of energy prices."The government should do everything it can to provide replacements for Russian gas supplies, Wieland urged. Controlling inflation is the ECB's job, he said. "Even if it were to raise the central bank rate from -0.5 percent to +1 percent, the real interest rate would still be negative next year, with an expected inflation rate of more than three percent." Monetary policy would then still be very expansionary. For Wieland, "it is also high time to act here."

Münchner Merkur: "Drohender Lieferstopp für russisches Gas: Keine Zeit für ideologische Vorbehalte"