Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig sees her state in a pioneering role for the import of LNG gas – of all things due to the controversial investments in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.
“The investments from Nord Stream 1 and 2 have been good for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania because we have a landing station and a huge distribution network for all other federal states in the east, including Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, to distribute LNG gas,” said the SPD politician in a Reuters TV interview published on Tuesday. This is important for all states. “That’s why we as a country have always supported this infrastructure.”
Schwesig had been criticized for her commitment to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which should bring even more Russian gas to Germany and western Europe. After the Russian attack on Ukraine, however, she backed the German government’s decision not to issue an operating license for this pipeline.
“The good thing is that the capacities for the forwarding of LNG gas are there,” she now emphasized. The landing station in Lubmin is available. And because Russia supplies less gas, there is capacity to feed in the imported liquefied gas. Gazprom is currently delivering significantly less gas than agreed through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
The construction of the fixed LNG terminal will take some time, but there is an offer from a supplier to use a floating landing point for liquid gas in Lubmin in December. That will now be checked. “It’s about getting the gas on quickly,” said Schwesig – and criticized her critics. “It’s remarkable that those who have been criticizing Nord Stream all along now want LNG gas to come down the pipelines very quickly.”
The SPD politician also accused the southern state governments of delaying the expansion of the nationwide power lines. “We’ve been wondering in the north-east for a long time that the networks aren’t being expanded,” she said, referring to Bavaria, for example. “We have some energy from wind and sun that we can’t feed into the grid because this grid expansion hasn’t taken place sufficiently in recent years.” As part of the energy transition, large power lines are planned from north to south, but their construction has been significantly delayed.
For the North, on the other hand, Scheswig sees great new opportunities through the massive expansion of offshore and onshore wind energy: “With the energy transition, the North has the chance to advance industrially. The OECD has made it clear: The North in Germany can become the world market leader on the subject of renewable energies,” she said. At the same time, the coast will become a landing point for hydrogen, for example. “That’s why we have a clear advantage here and we want to use it.” The state government has designated the first “green” commercial areas that are only operated with the green electricity that companies are increasingly demanding.
However, the Prime Minister also called for a reform of the framework conditions, such as the grid fees for wind power. “I asked the federal government to finally end this injustice,” she demanded, referring to the prices. The background to this is the sometimes high grid fees that are added to very cheaply produced wind power. “It can’t be that we produce the wind energy here in the north, so we also have the burden … and at the same time have the highest electricity prices,” she said. “It’s unfair.”