Germans should change course on energy policy to avoid having to heat homes with firewood, as Putin once joked – Knorr-Bremse boss

Berlin should be very careful when it comes to energy policy, warns Klaus Mangold, chairman of the Supervisory Board of German manufacturer Knorr-Bremse. He says Germany should think about returning to nuclear power.

“We cannot jump out of nuclear and stop being active in coal, and then wonder why energy prices are going up,” Mangold told RT on the sidelines of the 14th Eurasian Economic Forum in Verona, Italy. “I believe that nuclear will be important for the future in Europe.”

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Putin invites Europeans to Siberia for firewood

While there is a need to intensify renewables and save energy, oil and gas must remain part of Germany’s energy mix going forward, he affirmed. This is where Russia will play an important role, as Europe’s reliable energy supplier.

“Sometimes we have a paranoia against Russia, which is really stupid. Russia has always been a reliable partner for us,” Mangold said. Blaming Moscow for the current energy crisis is baseless, as Gazprom has already supplied 40% more gas than last year. 

Europe needs Russia. Germany needs Russia.

He argued that Germany had followed the wrong energy strategy, abandoning nuclear power in favor of solar and wind. Though outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel originally opposed the plan to shutter nuclear power plants, the 2011 meltdown in Fukushima, Japan changed her mind. Eight atomic plants have already been shut down, and the remaining nine are scheduled for closure in 2022.

If the strategy is changed, investments in energy could lead to lower prices and better supply in about five years’ time. Until then, however, domestic users will need to consider reducing their consumption, Mangold argued, so as to avoid being forced to heat their homes with firewood, as Russian President Vladimir Putin once joked.

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