In the media
11.05.2022

In ZDF documentary, Lion Hirth speaks on imminent energy crisis

Short-term reactivation of coal power plants needed, the energy expert says.

How fast can Germany disconnect from its dependence on Russian energy supplies? In planet e, a three-part ZDF documentary from 8 May on gas, coal and nuclear energy usage in Germany, Hertie School Assistant Professor of Governance of Digitalisation and Energy Policy Lion Hirth says the country needs to build up energy reserves now.

“We should also reactivate coal-fired power plants in the short term and make them available for the market,” he adds. "For this year and the next, it is important that we save every kilowatt-hour of gas wherever possible." Although Germany has agreed to phase out coal, energy shortages would have significant effects not only on German households but also especially for the production of steel and aluminum; whole industries would be paralysed, Hirth says.

Watch the documentary here (in German).

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More about our expert

  • Lion Hirth, Assistant Professor of Governance of Digitalisation and Energy Policy