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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Energy: Municipal utilities expect gas and electricity tariffs to double

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The energy crisis is no longer quite as dramatic, but it is not over, warn the municipal utilities. In the long term, consumers would have to adjust to high gas and electricity prices.

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Germany’s municipal utilities expect the gas and electricity tariffs for end customers to double. In view of the fall in wholesale prices, “of course the municipal utilities also want to lower the tariffs and will do so as soon as there is room for manoeuvre.” But he warns against false hopes, said Ingbert Liebing, general manager of the Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU), the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”. “According to our assessment, it is foreseeable that gas and electricity tariffs will double.” The crisis is no longer quite as dramatic, but not over. Liebing did not name a period for the expected price doubling.

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Liebing rejected the accusation by consumer advocates that municipal utilities demanded “moon prices”. “The current spot market and futures prices are not yet so cheap that they are already having a sustained price-lowering effect. They would have to fall further and, above all, permanently,” he said.

The VKU general manager spoke out like the “economy” Veronika Grimm for longer nuclear power plant running times. “In order to be prepared for emergencies, it would basically be better to use the capacities that we have,” said Liebing. Grimm argued that even with an increased expansion of renewable energies in the next two to four years there would not be sufficient generation capacity “to calm the tense situation on the electricity market”. Extending the lifetime of nuclear power plants would reduce electricity prices by 8 to 12 percent. “In addition, we would not have to generate so much coal,” said Grimm.

At the same time, Liebing called on the federal government to significantly accelerate approvals for wind turbines. “The coalition can and must ignite the turbo.” Since December there have been completely new possibilities within the framework of the EU emergency regulation.

Source: Stern

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