Top economist Hans-Werner Sinn – “We are ruining the car industry and not even helping the environment a bit”

Top economist Hans-Werner Sinn: “We are ruining the car industry and not even helping the environment a bit”

Hans-Werner Sinn, economist and former head of the Ifo Institute, sharply criticizes Germany’s energy policy. This helps the environment “not even a little”. The phasing out of coal and nuclear power also increases dependence on Russia.

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In a guest article for the “Bild am Sonntag” (Thursday), the economics expert Hans-Werner Sinn calculates the energy transition that the traffic light is aiming for. Green energy should favor material prosperity and environmental quality compared to conventional energy – according to Sinn a “contradiction in terms”.

Because: The state has to force green energy either by banning conventional energies or by artificially increasing the price, which in turn “affirms inflation and lowers the material standard of living”.

In addition, it is very questionable whether the environmental benefit will even be effective if Europe acts alone, as is also the case with the reduction in combustion engines. The economist complains that “Europe is releasing the quantities of oil that are no longer bought for the world markets”. As has been shown empirically, “rather exactly as much more carbon dioxide gets into the air there as we save”.

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Hans-Werner Sinn, former President of the Ifo Institute and Professor of Economics and Public Finance at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich until 2016, has been one of the most influential economists in Germany for many years.

Sinn: “We’re ruining the German auto industry and not even helping the environment a bit”

Sinn draws a bitter conclusion: “We are ruining the German car industry, promoting our Far Eastern competitors and not even helping the environment a bit.”

According to the former head of the ifo Institute, even e-cars with self-produced green electricity would not reduce dependence on other countries. If electricity production using wind and solar power is to be expanded, conventional power plants will also be needed in order to be able to bridge possible dark doldrums.

This work would have to be done by gas-fired power plants, since Germany is phasing out coal combustion and nuclear power at the same time. “However, this means that e-cars increase dependence on Russia,” criticizes Sinn.

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It is true that green hydrogen can be used to produce electricity during the dark doldrums, but this too cannot be produced from wind or solar power. As a result, the hydrogen will “come from the many new nuclear power plants that France has just decided to build and which the EU has labeled as green.”

The top economist sums up that “it would then probably be better to pull the rip cord and fundamentally rethink German energy policy”.

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