Bloomberg News

Germany’s New Energy Minister Seeks Input on Overhaul

May 22, 2012

Peter Altmaier, installed as Germany’s environment minister today, will pursue talks with industry executives about Germany’s plan to shift its energy mix to renewable sources such as solar and wind and away from nuclear power.

Altmaier is seeking a “national energy consensus” that will balance the interests of consumers, environmental groups and the industrial producers that consume great quantities of power, he told a gathering of wind-industry officials in Berlin today.

“The energy overhaul will possibly be the central project of this government,” he said. Germany has “no interest” in having “highly competitive” companies leave the country when they require more energy.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is planning to shutter the country’s remaining nine nuclear reactors by 2022 and raise the share of renewables in its power mix to at least 35 percent, up from about 20 percent now.

Altmaier, 53, will be in charge of plans to build offshore wind farms that will cover an area six times the size of New York City and install enough power lines to stretch from London to Baghdad.

The overhaul will require “greater coordination” between Germany’s 16 states and the federal government, said Altmaier, who’s a regular user of Twitter. That will ensure power- generation equipment such as wind turbines isn’t taken offline in times of peak production.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at

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