BERLIN, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Germany must invest in an expansion of renewable energies and will also need to build new gas power stations to guarantee energy security as it is planning to phase out nuclear and coal power plants, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday.
"If you're exiting, you're also having to enter somewhere else," Scholz told a conference organised by the IG BCE labour union, adding that Germany needed gas as an energy source during the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
Scholz, who is in pole position to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel after an election victory of his Social Democrats last month, said Germany's next coalition government would have to cut red tape to accelerate the expansion of wind farms, solar energy and electric grids.
"And this won't be as cosy as giving a speech like this," Scholz said in reference to local protests across the country against new on-shore wind farms and high voltage lines needed to carry renewable energy from the windy north-east to the industrial heartlands in the south-west.
(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, Editing by Miranda Murray and David Evans)
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