The so-called economic experts have criticized the plan by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) to keep two of the three nuclear power plants still in operation only in reserve. The nuclear reactors should “continue to be operated at least until the energy crisis has been overcome in the long term”, write the members of the Advisory Council for the Assessment of Overall Economic Development in an article for the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. A reserve operation until mid-April next year is “not expedient”.

The economists who advise the federal government include Veronika Grimm, Monika Schnitzer, Achim Truger and, since August, Ulrike Malmendier and Martin Werding. They therefore call for “all possibilities” to be considered in order to further reduce gas-fired power generation, to dampen the sharp rise in electricity prices and to increase the availability of energy. That must be “discussed beyond ideological trench warfare”.

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With the reserve operation proposed by Habeck, “only the costs associated with the availability would be incurred, without realizing the benefit from the operation,” write the members of the committee.

According to the statements, the Council expects that the energy crisis will “last at least until the summer of 2024”. In view of the tense situation, there must also be stronger incentives for private households to reduce gas consumption. Appeals and regulatory requirements could not replace “savings incentives through price signals”. “The high gas prices should be passed on to the end consumers, who in return would have to be relieved across the board,” write the authors.

They praise the third relief package planned by the government for the planned housing benefit reform and the additional flat-rate heating fee. However, many measures are still unclear or not targeted. “Especially to relieve gas customers, targeted measures should be developed and implemented as quickly as possible.”

Simply let nuclear reactors continue to run and thus get energy prices under control again? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy and that party ideology isn’t helpful here, as the talk round at “hard but fair” shows.

Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) caused a stir with statements about a possible winter blackout. Several districts are already preparing for such a scenario.

The gas importer Uniper has defended its controversial sponsorship activities. The money is handled “as carefully and consciously as possible,” said Uniper boss Klaus-Dieter Maubach. At the same time, he does not want to rule out that Uniper will also cause criticism in the near future.