April 1, 2023

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German policy response to energy crisis ‘very mixed’ -DIW’s Kemfert By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: German economist Claudia Kemfert is pictured during a Reuters TV interview in Berlin, Germany, March 2, 2023. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s policy response to the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “very mixed,” Claudia Kemfert from German economic research group DIW said on Thursday.

Kemfert said in an interview with Reuters TV that some steps that had been taken by Berlin on the expansion of renewable energy were in the right direction.

However, she said, this process was too slow and Germany had invested too much in fossil fuels, such as expanding the infrastructure for liquefied (LNG).

Germany had not faced energy supply problems over the winter thanks to mild temperatures and high gas storage levels and looking ahead to the next Kemfert said it was “well prepared”.

But energy savings by companies and households remain extremely important, she said, adding that the German government’s gas and electricity price caps meant that people felt they could rely on the state to soften the cost blow.

“That is indeed a big problem and can result in the savings potential not being achieved,” Kemfert said.