Coalition explores energy package
In the debate about relieving the economy from high electricity prices, the German government is exploring short-term relief measures. These measures could be implemented in the coming weeks after the next tax revenue estimation. Sources within the coalition suggest that the package might include an extension of the electricity tax compensation for energy-intensive industries, which was supposed to be eliminated as a harmful subsidy next year. An agreement on this point could be reached in the ongoing negotiations in the Bundestag for the 2024 budget. The compensation would relieve around 9,000 companies by approximately 1.7 billion euros. Additionally, a reduction in the electricity tax, generating nearly 7 billion euros annually, is under consideration within the coalition. Furthermore, discussions continue about the introduction of an industrial electricity price limited until 2030. However, observers in Berlin consider an agreement on this matter to be unlikely.
Consensus expected only after the next tax revenue estimation
A consensus within the German government on a short-term energy package, which was already a topic at the Chemical Industry Summit in the Chancellor's Office last week, is expected only after the next tax revenue estimation. Coalition politicians in Berlin hope for additional financial leeway for the coming year from the results of the tax estimation, which will be announced on October 26. The Federation of Chemical Industries (VCI) called for an agreement on a short-term energy package that would rapidly reduce electricity prices by the end of October.
Meanwhile, Christian Dürr, the chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, presented his own paper outlining proposals for a "National Energy Strategy 2045," based on "technological openness, market economy, and pragmatism." Dürr noted, in view of the green-led Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs, which would be responsible for it, that it should explicitly be "a strategy and not a plan in the sense of a planned economy." In August, the SPD parliamentary group had already published a position paper supporting the introduction of an industrial electricity price, as advocated by Minister of Economic Affairs Robert Habeck.