Energy struggle

Lights Out for Power Plant Firms

If only this was a wind turbine.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Germany’s transition to 100 percent green energy means domestic makers of fossil-fuel power plants must look overseas for new business. They feel the government is not making this easy, and is threatening jobs.

  • Facts


    • German fossil-fuel power plant manufacturers, such as Siemens and Alstom, employ 36,000 people.
    • Dozens of coal-fired power plants in Germany are due to close in the next few decades.
    • Manufacturers face stiff competition from Asian firms for overseas business.
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The German government is committed to phasing out nuclear and fossil-fuel energy, and no one is currently feeling the fallout of its plans more than builders of power plants.

In the latest worrying development for the sector, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks, a member of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), has announced that the government will no longer approve state-bank funding for coal-fired power plants, or export credit guarantees for sales overseas.

“In our view, Ms. Hendricks is jeopardizing Germany’s position as a manufacturer of power plants, especially in the fossil fuel sector, with its 36,000 employees, without any benefit for the environment,” Gerd Krieger of the German Engineering Association (VDMA) told Handelsblatt. The industry is now doing its best to avert a worst-case scenario.

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