Forsa survey: parliamentarians see natural gas playing a leading role in the future energy supply alongside renewable energies
Berlin. A majority for natural gas: even if the federal government did not give the same consideration to natural gas in its energy concept as expected by the energy sector, industry representatives and even environmental associations, Members of the German parliament from all parties consider natural gas to be very important alongside renewable energies for Germany’s future energy supply. 80 percent of the MP’s rate natural gas as an “important source of energy” . This was the result of a survey by the Berlin public opinion research institute forsa in which 283 representatives from politics and industry were asked for their views, including more than 100 Members of the Bundestag, the German parliament. The survey was conducted by forsa between September and November 2010 using interview guidelines and computer-assisted telephone interviews.
According to the survey, oil and coal, alongside nuclear energy, will be of relatively limited importance for the future energy supply – whereby coal was deemed the least important among all the fossil fuels by the parliamentarians. Overall 63 percent of all those asked believed the significance of coal for the energy supply in Germany was relatively low or diminishing – a view shared by both Members of Parliament (64 percent) and experts from the ministries and the EU Commission (65 percent).
The 283 people interviewed also gave a modest evaluation of the importance of nuclear energy. In response to the question regarding the future significance of nuclear energy, 27 percent consider this form of energy to be very important or increasingly important. The parliamentarians, on the other hand, are much more sceptical: just 12 percent of those asked believe that this form of energy has potential in the future too. Indeed, the majority speaks of nuclear power as having “a limited life span” (20 percent), or of being “irresponsible” (17 percent) or “not very important or diminishing in importance” (17 percent).
“The results of the survey show how important natural gas is beyond the political debates among federal politicians,” WINGAS Chairman Dr. Gerhard König, said. WINGAS, which is one of the largest buyers and sellers of natural gas in Germany, commissioned the forsa survey. König said he was confident about the role of natural gas in the future energy supply, and not just because of the survey results. “As the use of renewable energies increases, so too does the potential of natural gas, for it is natural gas that makes green energies reliable in the first place,” the WINGAS Chairman explained. “Natural gas has the lowest CO2 emissions of all the fossil fuels – which essentially means it is the only fossil fuel with a climate-friendly future.”
Note to editors: the results of the survey are available on request.
European energy provider WINGAS GmbH & Co. KG is active in natural gas trading and distribution in Germany, Belgium, France, the UK, Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark. Its customers include municipal utilities, regional gas suppliers, industrial firms and power plants. WINGAS is a joint venture of Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer, BASF subsidiary Wintershall Holding GmbH, and Russia’s OAO Gazprom.