Oil and gas are scarce resources. Politicians have vastly different ideas when it comes to meeting growing energy demand.
Carrying conventional or renewable energy?
The SPD plans to invest 20 billion euros ($24.5 billion) in renewable energy by 2010 with the goal of making Germany the global market leader in the solar and wind power industries. The party remains committed to the agreed on subsidies for phasing out coal production as well as nuclear energy. The energy supply should come from climate-friendly 'clean coal' plants, natural gas, biomass, and a mix of various renewable energy sources.
The CDU and CSU envision an energy supply from a diverse array of sources: oil, coal, gas, nuclear as well as biomass, hydro, wind, and solar energy. Regenerative energies should make up at least 12.5 percent of the energy supply, but should receive fewer subsidies than in the past. The German nuclear power plants should be allowed to continue operation longer than currently intended.
The Greens want to disembark from the nuclear age and move away from crude oil. Energy should increasingly come from solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal generating plants. The goal for 2020 is to produce a full quarter of the present energy supply, heating demand, fuel consumption, and goods of the petrochemical industry, respectively, from renewable energies and renewable primary products. The coal subsidies should be reduced and completely eliminated by 2012. Greenhouse gas emissions should be cut by 40 percent of their 1990 levels by 2020; the EU stipulates only a 30 percent reduction. The Greens clearly have the longest resume with legislation for environmental and consumer protection.
The Free Democratic Party wants to slash subsidies, whether for hard coal power plants or for renewable energies. The European electricity and gas markets should be more fully liberalized. Market regulation should only be oriented to increasing competitiveness, demands the FDP. As with the Christian Union, the party is bent on atomic energy.
The Left Party
The Left Party is calling for a "rapid departure from nuclear energy." By 2050 the Left Party wants to see Germany's entire energy supply coming from renewables.