Berlin, Germany (C: Florian Wehde via Unsplash)

Germany risks becoming ‘industrial museum’ due to energy crisis says business leader 

One of Germany’s prominent business leaders has hit out at that country’s energy policies, saying that the current energy crisis and the emphasis on unreliable renewables means Germany is at risk of going from an industrial country to an “industrial museum”.

Germany has the biggest economy in the European Union, with a GDP of over 3.57 trillion Euros in 2021. Its position as the fourth largest economy in the world is based on exports of high-quality manufactured goods including vehicle construction, electrical industry, engineering and chemical industry. 

The energy crisis has hit manufacturing especially hard, with fears that surging costs may make it impossible for large companies to keep production lines open. The continuing conflict in the Ukraine is also driving up the cost of supplies for manufacturers, and German industry remains heavily reliant on Russian gas. 

Now the  president of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), Markus Steilemann, says that the country may become an “industrial museum” if circumstances continue to worsen, claiming that the warning signs signal that the collapse of Germany as an industrial location might be possible. 

He said there is a risk of a gigantic power shortage because the planned expansion of wind power cannot be managed, according to Bild. 

Steilemann argued that enormous amounts of steel were required to build turbines, and that Gerrmany is at risk of frequent power shortages because renewable energy is insufficient to meet the country’s energy needs.

He said that  the German steel industry was already under severe threat, and that plants are closing down across the country because of runaway energy costs, and that the country could not secure enough affordable steel to build the number of wind power turbines necessitated by the government’s plan to shift to wind and other renewable energy sources. 

VCI represents 1,900 companies in the chemical industry, which have a turnover of approximately €220 billion and employ more than 530,000 people.

The head of the building materials association BVB, Matthias Frederichs, also warned that if the government continued to ignore capacities from fossil and nuclear fuels for generating electricity to the national grid there would be a “risk of bankruptcies and emigration.”

The growing crisis has sparked what local media described as ‘unexpectedly large protests’ against government energy policy which might ‘foreshadow growing discontent this winter’. 

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