Recently I had a long interview in Essen with Fritz Vahrenholt, the ceo of RWE Innogy (the arm of RWE that is producing renewable energy) and author of the controversial German book Die Kalte Sonne. Today, the interview (in English) has been published on the (free) online magazine European Energy Review.

The book, which he wrote together with Sebastian Lüning, who is also working for RWE, is impressive. As the title suggests, it focuses on the role of the sun, which they claim the IPCC has underestimated in their assessments. They go one step further than I did in my own book, they come up with their own ‘prediction’ for the coming century (page 318). With the sun going asleep and natural oscillations like the PDO and the AMO on the decline, they don’t expect warming to resume before 2035 or even later.

Vahrenholt is an interesting figure. He was a friend of the environmental movement after he published his book Seveso is überall, Die tödlichen Risiken der Chemie in 1978. Now after publishing this ‘skeptical’ book  his popularity in climate friendly Germany amongst greens went down rapidly.

The question is why? In the interview Vahrenholt turned out to be merely a realist. He is not against Die Energiewende, but he is against the rushed energy transition that is now taking place in Germany. He thinks that Germany is acting too much on its own and the energy transition should be a pan-European effort.

Read the whole interview here. (first readers should subscribe first which is free)