• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Environment minister: Make fracking illegal

DPA/The Local · 1 Apr 2014, 12:45

Published: 01 Apr 2014 12:45 GMT+02:00

The country’s 16 state premiers were set to meet on Tuesday evening in Berlin in an attempt to smooth over disagreements around the financing of the country's switch over to renewable energy, known as the Energiewende.

Ahead of the meeting, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said Germany should never consider turning to fracking as a solution for its energy needs, despite the success of the technology in the USA.

Fracking involves blasting water mixed with sand and chemicals at high pressure into rocks, releasing the gas.

“Unlike the USA, our country is densely populated and small,” Hendricks told the Passauer Neue Presse on Tuesday.

She added that not only would a successful commercial fracking industry in Germany be “wishful thinking” but that “a rethinking of our energy policy should take us away from fossil fuels – no matter where they come from.”

Germany's coalition government rejected the use of fracking when it formed in December last year, but Hendricks wants to go further and enshrine a ban in law.

"The coalition agreement is very clear [on fracking], she said. “Drinking water and health are an absolute priority for us. We reject the use of environmentally toxic substances. We will enshrine it in law."

Energy meet

Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Chancellor Angela Merkel have been pushing for Germany’s 16 states to come to an agreement on capping surcharges on wind and biogas energy plants.

Gabriel wants to cap green energy surcharges paid to renewable electricity producers after a certain point.

For onshore wind, this would kick in after 2,500 megawatts of new capacity had been installed. For biomass, it would be much lower at just 100 megawatts. Critics say this could kill off biomass altogether.

Premieres of northern states – which tend to have a large proportion of the country's wind turbines – say putting caps on wind power will slow down the development of the industry and hinder the change over in general.

Schleswig-Holstein's state premier Torsten Albig said a lot of turbines in his state were being upgraded and they should not be included in the 2,500 megawatt cap.

In Lower Saxony, politicians want a general lowering of energy tax in order to halt Germany's rising electricity costs.

SEE ALSO: Energy minister says 'no alternative' to Russian gas

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Erdogan to Berlin: be sensible on Armenia genocide bill
Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: DPA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called Angela Merkel to ask for "common sense" over a resolution recognising the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as "genocide", local media reported.

3 asylum seekers arrested for sexual assaults at music fest
The Schlossgrabenfest in Darmstadt. Photo: DPA

Update: Police in Darmstadt have received 14 complaints of sexual assault from women who attended a music festival in the city over the weekend.

Dalai Lama says there are 'too many' refugees in Europe
The Dalai Lama. Photo: DPA

The Dalai Lama said in an interview published Thursday that Europe has accepted "too many" refugees, and that they should eventually return to help rebuild their home countries.

Footballer Özil’s Mecca visit was unpatriotic, say AfD
Mesut Özil. Photo: DPA

When national football star Mesut Özil posted a picture of himself in Mecca on Facebook it received 21,000 ‘likes’. But Germany’s far right party see it is an act of provocation.

Star winger axed from Germany Euros squad
Marco Reus. Photo: DPA

Marco Reus endured more injury heartache with Germany on Tuesday - his 27th birthday - as he was cut from their final Euro 2016 squad, two years after missing the World Cup.

Every third child in Berlin now dependent on welfare
Photo: DPA

Child poverty is on the rise across Germany. But in the national capital and Bremen the situation is particularly severe.

Kraftwerk defeat makes Germany safe for DJs
A Kraftwerk stage show. File photo: DPA

Techno pioneers Kraftwerk have lost a near 20-year court battle over sampling - making the practice A-OK in Germany for the first time ever.

Hanover teen stabbed police officer 'on orders from Isis'
A police officer standing on a platform at Hanover main station. Photo: DPA

A 15-year-old girl who knifed a policewoman at Hanover's main train station in February may have been acting under orders from Isis terrorists, media reported on Tuesday.

Support for Merkel govt dips below 50 percent
Chancellor Angela Merkel (l) and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (r). Photo: DPA

Germany came in for a political first on Tuesday as a new poll showed combined support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government dropped below 50 percent for the first time.

Med rescuers share human cost of refugee crisis
A refugee boat capsizes in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast on May 25th, in an accident in which five people lost their lives. Photo: Marina Militare/Italian Navy/DPA

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: A photo of a dead migrant baby pulled from the Mediterranean was published by a charity hoping to force European leaders to grant migrants safe passage, after hundreds were presumed to have died at sea last week.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
Society
Pegida enraged by black children on chocolate bars
Health
New father's tragic herpes warning touches 1000s online
National
Bayer's Monsanto takeover would be 'diabolical': environmentalists
Lifestyle
10 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
Politics
MP recites explicit Erdogan bestiality poem on live TV
National
China beats Germany in readiness to help refugees
Hamburg
The headless sex doll that put Lübeck police on high alert
National
Pensioner claims to have found hidden Nazi nukes
Business & Money
Here's why Munich is worth 20 times more than Berlin
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that will stay with you forever
Technology
Church plans to connect with faithful at Wi-Fi 'Godspots'
Technology
Online hate speech can cost users thousands of Euros
Society
Bavarians in rush for non-lethal weapons licenses
Sport
Here's Germany's Mannschaft for Euro 2016
Culture
The Syrian pianist playing his way into Germans' hearts
The parrot who flew fast enough to trigger a speed camera
Technology
New law could let free Wi-Fi bloom across Germany
Politics
Berlin's plans to beef up the German army
5,833
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd