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Meseberg has missed the chance for a bridge electricity price

Energy-intensive SMEs have been widely disappointed by the decision of the coalition government not to address the issue of electricity prices at the closed meeting in Meseberg. BDG Managing Director Max Schumacher sees the meeting as a "missed opportunity".

While the traffic light coalition apparently remains divided and has not even tackled the important issue of industrial or bridge electricity prices, the energy-intensive sectors are in complete agreement in their assessment. Whether it is the Federal Association of the German Foundry Industry, the Economic Association of Metals or the Alliance for a Fair Energy Transition (Bündnis faire Energiewende, BFE), of which the BDG is a member - the energy-intensive industrial SMEs are reacting to the results of Meseberg with disappointment and dismay. From the point of view of the medium-sized industrial sectors organised in the BFE, the economic impulses decided in Meseberg are correct, but they are far from sufficient.

"At its cabinet meeting in Meseberg, the traffic light coalition missed the chance to tackle the main problem of expensive energy costs for industry," criticises Max Schumacher, spokesman for the industry alliance and CEO of the Federation of German Foundry Industries.

The principle of hope, on which the Federal Chancellor is relying with regard to energy prices, does not do justice to the seriousness of the situation in small and medium-sized industry: "More and more companies are experiencing existential hardship because they are no longer competitive with the record prices for energy in Germany as a business location. These are precisely the SMEs that we need to manage the transformation in Germany as a business location and to remain self-sufficient in our supply chains. We therefore have no other choice: the entire SME industry needs broad and rapid relief on energy costs immediately, as long as there is not enough green energy at affordable prices," said Schumacher. 

The BDG had already become active in May with the "Bielefeld Appeal". Around 1000 foundry workers had protested for an industrial electricity price at the event organised jointly with IG Metall. "We need a decision on an industrial electricity price before the end of this year. The industrial electricity price must be competitive in international comparison, it must be implemented quickly and unbureaucratically, and it must guarantee companies planning security for a longer period of time," BDG President Clemens Küpper had demanded in the spring, very clearly against the background of concerns about Germany as an industrial location.

That is why the following is important now:

  • A bridge electricity price must also come quickly for small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Electricity and energy taxes must be reduced to the minimum rates permitted under European law.
  • Grid fees must be largely financed from the federal budget.
  • The purely national CO2 pricing must be suspended until European emissions trading is introduced for all small emitters as planned.

This is the only way that energy-intensive small and medium-sized enterprises can continue to produce in Germany, create value, pay taxes and provide good jobs.

With the fundamental classification of Meseberg, the BDG and BFE are in unanimous company with other German industry associations. Here are more voices from associations and trade unions:


Franziska Erdle, Managing Director WirtschaftsVereinigung Metalle e.V.

The decisions taken by the Federal Government after its closed-door meeting in Meseberg lack the necessary measures to deal with the high electricity costs. We therefore appeal to the federal government not to shelve the issue of electricity costs after Meseberg, but to continue to deal with it intensively and to introduce appropriate measures to ensure a competitive electricity price in order to prevent the migration of industrial value creation.

Dr. Matthias Frederichs, Managing Director of the German Federal Association of Building Materials - Stone and Earth (bbs)

Meseberg could have paved the way for competitive electricity prices. A further weakening of the energy-intensive industries must be urgently prevented, as the federal states and parts of the government factions have long since recognised. Now it is important to send a clear signal for Germany as an industrial location - with a bridge electricity price for energy-intensive industries and a retention of the peak compensation in the electricity tax. The current uncertainty faced by employees and companies is grossly negligent.

Dr. Johann Overath, Managing Director, Federal Association of the German Glass Industry (Bundesverband Glasindustrie e.V.)

The cabinet meeting did not achieve the desired result for the glass industry: The bridge electricity price, which is so important for us and which we need in the short term to cope with the current crisis and to drive forward the transformation as quickly as possible, was not decided. Yet it is five to 12 for the energy-intensive basic industries in Germany. Long-term measures are generally welcome, but we need the support now! A bridge electricity price would have an immediate effect and make it much easier for companies in the glass industry to decide to invest in a climate-neutral future. After all, the electrification of sub-processes in glass production will be an important pillar in the decarbonisation of the entire glass industry.

Jörg Hofmann, First Chairman IG Metall

At its closed meeting, the federal government cleared up old points of contention and launched well-known projects. It was obviously not enough for new ideas and impulses. It would be urgently necessary to relieve the burden on energy-intensive industry by means of a bridge electricity price until the sufficient expansion of renewable energies. Unfortunately, the federal government has not yet been able to bring itself to do this. As IG Metall, we will continue to campaign for this sensible measure of targeted location and employment protection.

Stefan Körzell, DGB National Executive Committee Member

With regard to electricity prices, the results of Meseberg are disappointing. Instead of taking decisive action, the federal government is acting timidly. The situation is serious, time is pressing: We need clarity quickly in order to keep industrial production in the country. A concessionary industrial electricity price that promotes good work, value creation and transformation must now come quickly. We need it to bridge the gap until sufficient renewable and cheaper energies are available. The German government must not continue to dither and sit this issue out - there is too much at stake for that.

Kerstin Maria Rippel, Managing Director of the German Steel Federation

In Meseberg, the opportunity was missed to send a clear signal for the climate-neutral future of our industry in Germany. For it is precisely to this end that the steel industry wants to and can make an enormous contribution by saving 55 million tonnes of CO2 per year. For this to succeed, companies must be put in a position today to be able to compete internationally. The price of electricity is one of the decisive factors here. The transformation to a climate-neutral future therefore needs political measures that buffer the competitive disadvantage of far too high electricity costs - and it needs to be done now!

Winfried Schaur, President of Die Papierindustrie e.V.

The German government has missed an important opportunity to give German industry a growth perspective and planning security for investments. The important bridge electricity price was not passed, the extension of the peak compensation was postponed. The Growth Opportunities Act that was passed will not be sufficient to provide the necessary transformation impulses.


Markus Steilemann, President of the German Chemical Industry Association - VCI

The German government must no longer ignore the alarm call of the energy-intensive industry. A bridge electricity price is not only desirable, it is an absolute must in this crisis. The traffic lights must no longer be allowed to stand idly by while declining production and a drop in orders rob many companies in our sector of their confidence. To stop deindustrialisation, it must restore faith in the location NOW. Good-sounding long-term programmes are not enough. We need acute measures.

Michael Vassiliadis, President of the Mining, Chemicals and Energy Trade Union

With the Meseberg resolutions, the federal government has taken the first steps towards improving the conditions for the location. But this cannot and must not be the last word. What we need now is an industrial policy liberation that brings us back on a par with other regions internationally - quickly and sustainably at the same time. This includes a bridge electricity price for energy-intensive industries that acts as a massive boost for climate-friendly modernisation. We must pull out all the stops to ensure that the industry invests now in the transformation of its domestic locations - and does not migrate abroad. This is the only way to guarantee the preservation of good jobs, secure supplies for other industries and progress in climate protection.