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Uckermark Midsize Firms: Firms in Trouble in the Energy Transition – Can the US Lead by Role?

Uckermark Midsize Firms: Firms in Trouble in the Energy Transition – Can the US Lead by Role?


Are politicians pushing the energy transition at the expense of the East German economy? Yes, the association of entrepreneurs in Uckermark says very clearly and sees that many of the current political decisions and developments threaten the very existence of PCK Schwedt, but above all for small and medium-sized businesses in the region.

In a joint appeal, the entrepreneurs of Uckermark, the Brandenburg and Berlin business associations and the interest group of East German business associations formulate clear demands for the federal government. Because frustration runs deep.

The middle class has been forgotten

We do not hear or get any answers to our questions and problems from the political decision makers. It doesn’t matter who was here or who we contacted and asked about the talks, whether it was the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Michael Kellner, also the Federal Commissioner for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and actually our lobbyist, or other ministers, secretaries of state or members of the Bundestag. We feel ignored. Small and medium-sized businesses are being forgotten,” criticizes Sigmund Pessler, longtime president and honorary member of the Uckermark Entrepreneurs Association.

What does transformation mean?

“For us, transformation has so far been nothing more than a political buzzword filled with many uncertainties. We want to know what exactly is planned, what is the content behind it. How is it supposed to work and how can we as a company get involved locally? How are we supported? We are ready To participate, but so far we do not feel involved at all, on the contrary, ”says Sigmund Pessler. Small and medium enterprises are not only an important economic factor at Uckermark and are indispensable if the energy transition is to succeed in the economy as well.

Transformation Facilitation Act is required

After the Russian ban, the future of the PCK refinery remains uncertain, and the solutions proposed by the federal government to the PCK Association and the Entrepreneurs Association as stakeholders are not guaranteed. Currently, Schwedt, Uckermark and PCK see themselves as victims of the voluntary abandonment of Russian oil from 2023 announced by the federal government, and judge the association of entrepreneurs on Uckermark: deliveries from Kazakhstan, including via Rostock and Gdansk. However, if “all else fails,” the interest group from the East German and Berlin business associations, the Brandenburg-Berlin Business Association, and the Uckermark Business Association, will demand that Russian oil continue to flow through the Druzhba pipeline.

Application via Instagram – the letter goes online

Unequal treatment of renewable energy producers

But solar companies also suffer from politics. Angermünde Akotec, which produces solar thermal systems with international success, is disenfranchised by current government policy, and the Uckermark business association is critical. Unlike photovoltaics, solar thermal power does not have tax concessions, although it does at least provide a significant amount of climate-neutral energy supply. The Uckermark Entrepreneurs’ Association has criticized this as distorting competition.

The Common Appeal of Politics

In order to make itself heard, the Uckermark Entrepreneurs’ Association teamed up with other East German businessmen’s associations in order to make a joint appeal to politicians and the public.

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Mühle Greiffenberg near Angermünde

Why is PCK Schwedt investing in a windmill?

Volker Herrmann, spokesperson for the Uckermark Entrepreneurs’ Association, stresses that business mistrust in politics must be restored by those responsible for politics.

I lost faith in politics

Unanimously with the East German business associations, the Uckermark business association advocates for the Transformation Facilitation Act for Germany’s energy transition, with the aim of not jeopardizing Germany’s competitiveness as a trading location, but rather to enhance it. “We, the medium-sized entrepreneurs, clearly endorse the statements made by VERBIO President Klaus Sutter at the Energy Forum in Leipzig in May 2023, who compared the challenges of the current energy transition to the development of the East. We demand a clear political line, swift and decisive actions and tools similar to those used in the development of the East. , in order to enable large-scale investments for the transformation of the energy transition”, emphasizes Volker Herrmann. You shouldn’t waste any more time.

USA Model Inflation Reduction Act

The so-called transition facilitation law based on the US model is also necessary for the German economy in order to make it more competitive again.

Schwedt's plans - those are the goals

Schwedt’s plans – those are the goals

Business associations explain that through the 2023 Inflation Reduction Act, the US government has already implemented a comprehensive investment program worth $738 billion, which includes measures to realign the US economy towards renewable energies and new tax regulations.

Tax exemption and investment encouragement

With the required transition facilitation law, the interest group of East German business associations calls above all for the conditions of a non-bureaucratic framework for the transition of the economy to renewable energy, above all tax incentives, attractive consumption options for investments in renewable energies, simple support programs and openness to technology and non-bureaucratic approval procedures, the joint declaration stipulates the signature of Volker Hermann of the Entrepreneurs’ Association in Uckermark and Burkhardt Gref, President of the Businessmen’s Association of Brandenburg-Berlin and spokesperson for the East German Entrepreneurs’ Associations Interest Group.