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German state aid for batteries not enough to replace private investment, says minister

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 15:46 -- John Shepherd
German state aid for batteries not enough to replace private investment, says minister

German state investment to establish a ‘home-grown’ battery cell industry cannot replace the need for “entrepreneurial commitment”, the country’s economy minister has said.

Federal economic affairs and energy minister Peter Altmaier (pictured) said: “We can only subsidise a part of the costs— the lion's share must be raised by the industry itself.”

Altmaier told Tagesspiegel: “Only if we build the world's best batteries in Europe can we prevent massive job losses. However, support does not replace entrepreneurial commitment.”

The minister said the battery sector is “under enormous pressure” and Europe needed to move faster on building a battery cells industry— in particular to cater for the electric vehicles market— to compete with countries such as China and the US.

Last November, Altmaier announced Germany would invest €1 billion (US$1.1bn) into promoting battery cell production by 2021— with the aim of German and European producers “supplying 30% of global demand” by 2030.

Earlier this year, Germany revealed the partners of a new government-backed battery cell consortium, as part of plans to secure the nation’s “technological sovereignty in battery technology”.

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