"Cheap electricity from renewables must also be able to flow": Johannes Lackmann with Markus Lanz on ZDF

A large num­ber of posi­tive reac­tions and con­gra­tu­la­ti­ons from all over Ger­many have rea­ched the West­fa­len­WIND Group — which also includes wind­CORES — fol­lo­wing the appearance of our Mana­ging Direc­tor Johan­nes Lack­mann on the ZDF talk show “Mar­kus Lanz”. He dis­cus­sed the pro­blems with the energy tur­n­around with Fede­ral Eco­no­mics Minis­ter Robert Habeck, energy and con­s­truc­tion expert Lamia Mes­sari-Becker and host Mar­kus Lanz on the 31 Janu­ary edition.

The rene­wa­ble energy tech­no­lo­gies are now mature and available, he said. If there were not a big “but”: “We are che­a­per than the fos­sil energy indus­try. Howe­ver, more fle­xi­ble tariffs and grid fees are nee­ded so that the elec­tri­city can flow and reach the con­su­mer,” Lack­mann put his fin­ger in the wound. He descri­bed the absur­dity of this as fol­lows: if there is a lot of wind, the wind tur­bi­nes can gene­rate a cor­re­spon­ding amount of elec­tri­city. Because of the high sup­ply, howe­ver, the elec­tri­city price on the stock exch­ange moves around zero. “If an over­sup­ply even threa­tens nega­tive exch­ange pri­ces, the pro­du­cers have to switch off their plants, because other­wise they would still have to pay money for their elec­tri­city sup­ply,” said the wind pio­neer in the round on “Mar­kus Lanz”.

12 bil­lion kilo­watt hours (kWh) were lost unu­sed in Ger­many last year for this reason.” This cor­re­sponds to a natu­ral gas value of 1.5 bil­lion euros, the West­fa­len­WIND mana­ging direc­tor cal­cu­la­ted. “If elec­tri­city is che­a­per than gas, then it must be able to flow,” was his demand. Addres­sing Robert Habeck directly, he appea­led to him to remove this “mar­ket blo­ckade”. For this, he said, there was still a lack of the right regu­la­tory frame­work, which could be chan­ged easily and immediately.

“Whoe­ver gets the elec­tri­city from the fur­thest away, namely the sou­thern Ger­mans, must also pay the trans­port costs.”
Johan­nes Lack­mann in the “Mar­kus Lanz”

The talk show guest from Pader­born sent a “tough announce­ment”, Mar­kus Lanz and Robert Habeck thought, to the address of those fede­ral sta­tes that do not (want to) do their home­work in the expan­sion of rene­wa­ble ener­gies: “The pol­lu­ter pays prin­ci­ple must be applied here: Whoe­ver gets the elec­tri­city from the fur­thest away, namely the sou­thern Ger­mans, must also pay the trans­port costs.” And whoe­ver pre­vents wind power, like the Free State of Bava­ria with Prime Minis­ter Mar­kus Söder, should also feel the consequences.

In response to a ques­tion from host Mar­kus Lanz, Johan­nes Lack­mann descri­bed the years-long appr­oval pro­cess and the accom­pany­ing absur­di­ties until a wind tur­bine can be built. On average, it still takes five to seven years. The West­fa­len­WIND boss spoke of around 140 files that have to be trans­por­ted to the respon­si­ble aut­ho­ri­ties in a small lorry for a wind farm, num­e­rous expert opi­ni­ons on ever­y­thing from noise to shadow fli­cker to bats. “And when the per­mit is finally gran­ted after seve­ral years, envi­ron­men­tal orga­ni­sa­ti­ons such as NABU com­plain. This hap­pens even if it can­not be pro­ven that spe­cies are end­an­ge­red,” Lack­mann cal­led nature con­ser­va­tion the “main han­di­cap” in the appr­oval pro­cess. The gro­tes­que thing about this, in his view, is that cli­mate pro­tec­tion through the expan­sion of rene­wa­bles also means spe­cies pro­tec­tion in par­ti­cu­lar. “In the past, the envi­ron­men­tal asso­cia­ti­ons issued the motto: Think glo­bally, act locally. Today this has become: Talk glo­bally, pre­vent locally,” Lack­mann made clear his incom­pre­hen­sion of the approach of NABU & Co.

Eco­no­mics Minis­ter Robert Habeck agreed with most of the points made by WestfalenWIND’s Mana­ging Direc­tor and con­ce­ded that there is still a lot to be done by the fede­ral govern­ment to achieve the energy tur­n­around. Some of this will be deci­ded this year, he announ­ced. Johan­nes Lackmann’s appearance not only drew a posi­tive response from many tele­vi­sion view­ers, but also from the Ger­man media.

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