Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt was interviewed by the Hamburger Abendblatt on a new book he co-authored: “Unerwünschte Wahrheiten: Was Sie über den Klimawandel wissen sollten“ (Unwanted Truths: What You Have To Know About Climate Change).
He warns that Germany’s energy policy of transitioning to renewable energies could lead to a “dramatic loss of prosperity”.
The interview appeared on December 11, 2020: What follows are some excerpts:
Former Environment Senator Vahrenholt: “We are threatened with a loss of prosperity“
ABENDBLATT: With solar cells, we have just seen what efficiency gains are possible.
VAHRENHOLT: That’s true with solar energy, when I think back to my first solar cells at Shell. We can produce electricity for a few cents at sunny sites, and the drop in cost is not as significant with wind. But that doesn’t solve the problem of intermediate storage, which becomes unaffordable with the amount that needs to be stored.
ABENDBLATT: Do you have something against renewable energies?
VAHRENHOLT: No, not at all – I helped to make them big, photovoltaics at Shell, wind power at Repower. RWE Innogy’s first offshore plant in the North Sea bears my name: Fritz. But I would never have thought of making such a fluctuating energy the sole source of electricity, heat and mobility.”
ABENDBLATT: What should be done, in your view?
VAHRENHOLT: If the situation is as dramatic as they always say, I wonder why we don’t rethink it over. Why aren’t we willing to think about capturing CO2 from coal-fired power plants? And why do we refuse to look at new nuclear energy technologies with an open mind? Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers them an alternative. But we don’t want to see it.
ABENDBLATT: Our chancellor is a natural scientist…
VAHRENHOLT: Yes, but she is driven by public sentiment. That’s what her about-face on nuclear power showed.
On the subject of deindustrialization, we’re with your party – the SPD.
VAHRENHOLT: Unfortunately, the SPD no longer has its clientele in mind. There is already a party for the hip, green urban crowd. But the employees in the steel, chemical or car industry have been lost from sight. The little people will now be punished with a CO2 tax starting in January. It will cost the average household 270 euros in the first year, and this amount is set to rise further and further to over 600 euros.”
Read the complete interview here (paywall).
There were many comments with praise and criticism coming from readers over the Abendblatt interview. What follows is a positive comment:
This interview with Mr. Fritz Vahrenholt should be made compulsory reading for politicians of all parties with subsequent discussion and debate! Considerable food for thought!”