The Strategist

German Foreign Minister: Oil-based business model will collapse soon

04/11/2019 - 12:16

At a conference in Berlin, Russia and the OPEC countries were warned that their business model would collapse, since the share of "green" electricity on the planet could reach 86% in 30 years.

Public Domain Pictures
Public Domain Pictures
Why should mankind develop electricity production from renewable sources (RES)? Many people believe that it is for the sake of ecology, clean air and the fight against global climate change.

Some, however, are sure that there are economic reasons as well. Extraction and transportation of difficult-to-reach fossil energy sources will inevitably become more expensive in the future, but the cost of energy derived from the sun and wind will decrease as technology advances, especially if these sources are abundant.

Renewable energy should also be developed in order to achieve geopolitical goals. German Foreign Minister, Social Democrat Heiko Maas, emphasized this fact when opening the fifth two-day International Energy Transition Dialogue international conference devoted to the global transition to RES in Berlin on April 9.

The main thesis of the German minister, persistently repeated by him in a short statement for the press and in an article on the website of the German Foreign Ministry, was that renewable energy increases energy security of states and reduces their dependence on energy suppliers for decades as a geopolitical tool.

At the same time, Heiko Maas never mentioned Russia and the OPEC countries, although it is clear that he meant them. “In recent years, investments in renewable energy have exceeded investments in such fossil fuels as oil and gas. Thus, exporters of oil and natural gas are losing an important tool of political power that has served them so far as a lever to promote their interests,” the minister said.

It will be increasingly difficult to continue using energy as a means of pressure, and there will be less violent interstate conflicts over access to energy, head of the German Foreign Ministry is convinced. However, he pointed out that the widespread introduction of renewable energy sources will also have serious negative geopolitical consequences, about which it is time to think, too.

"What will happen, for example, with those states that are very dependent on oil and gas export revenues today? The risk of economic crises and the threat of political instability can grow very quickly. We should be interested avoiding conflicts, when the business models of entire states collapse," said the German foreign minister.

The best prevention, as Heiko Maas put it, is to start large-scale investments in competitive renewable energy right now.


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