German energy policy is facing major challenges: Gas could become scarce in winter, and extending the life of nuclear power plants is now being considered. Commentators in some media are concerned with this and above all with the position of the Greens in this debate.

Jasper von Altenbockum writes in the FAZ that the “Ukraine war reveals the abysses of German energy morality” and criticizes that the result of the energy policy of the last decades is a clear miscalculation. The mistake is to be found in politics, “which wants to produce energy primarily from a moral point of view”. That has not changed to this day, writes the author of the FAZ.

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The war against the Ukraine is a good opportunity to become aware of the sustainability, or rather: of the “abyss of German energy morality”. “Getting out of nuclear power first, and then out of coal, meant that we only had natural gas as a bridging solution, because no matter how fast the expansion of wind and solar power is, the gap cannot be closed,” writes Jasper von Altenbockum. The current gas crisis indicates what would happen if Germany wanted to be climate-neutral immediately, i.e. also did without gas: “It would be a disaster,” said the commentator.

Above all, he accuses the Greens of not pausing in the face of the situation, but of making “all the more powerful oaths to the German revolution”, “which is being sold as industrial”. He refers to a statement by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the climate conference in Bonn. There Baerbock said the “21st century steam engines” of wind, sun and “green” hydrogen must finally displace the 20th century “looms” of coal, oil and gas.

The FAZ author says: “There it is again: the beautiful picture for a beautiful goal in a beautiful future. But is it realistic? Or is it based on the next dramatic miscalculation?”

Von Altenbockum is also skeptical about the use of green hydrogen: “But Germany will hardly be able to produce enough hydrogen to be able to do without the ‘looms’.” political heat pump. It sucks from uncertain predictions the certainty it needs to make increasingly bold predictions.” Germany is not a role model: “No country wants to afford the costs, prices, risks and detours that a ‘German’ policy entails.”

After Ricarda Lang, co-leader of the Greens, launched a test balloon for extending the nuclear power plant lifetime, FOCUS Online author Hugo Müller-Vogg classifies this as an overdue change in the Greens. In a TV talk show, Lang no longer categorically ruled out the nuclear power plant extension. “If the result is such that “all measures are put on the table again”, then, yes, then the Greens could suddenly prefer a realistic to an ideological solution, yes, have to prefer it,” writes the FOCUS Online commentator.

The Greens already have problems within the party, “because the party has so far renounced sacred principles, not only in energy policy in view of the energy crisis triggered by Putin. It is also difficult for the left wing of the Öko-Party, which once emerged as a pacifist force, to bear the 100 billion euros in debt for the Bundeswehr”.

Müller-Vogg therefore means: “In the Ukraine war and the resulting energy crisis, Habeck and Baerbock are moving away from their once strict rejection of arms exports to crisis areas and from their call for an accelerated phase-out of coal. It is quite possible that the facts will prevail over beliefs when it comes to the issue of extending the term.”

The “world” also takes on the topic and denounces that the Greens have moved in many areas “for the good of the country, but also for their own benefit”. “Only nuclear energy is still taboo today.” However, according to the commentator, a move by co-party leader Ricarda Lang seems to herald a change.

Lang had indicated that in certain exceptional cases the Greens might agree to an extension of the lifetime of nuclear power plants. “For the first time, a Green politician of rank, especially a left-wing one, has shown herself pragmatically and finally let the ideology go,” says the “Welt”. Because: “Every sensible person knows that by extending the running time, it would be possible, at least for a limited time, to replace the proportion of electricity that would otherwise use gas. But the Greens think differently.”

The “Handelsblatt” is already watching the Greens as they say goodbye to the “anti-nuclear comfort zone”. The commentator says the no to the term extension is a “high-risk political maneuver”. The Greens could “no matter how much they point out the safety and liability risks that actually exist and also the high costs of nuclear power. That appeals to the hard, ideologically solid core of the Greens. But it is not the majority of the approximately 22 percent of those eligible to vote who currently make the party the strongest governing party in the polls.”

The Green tip has already “brought uncomfortable decisions to the base” elsewhere, the comment says. “If you say yes to longer terms, that will also be possible.”