Germany's minister of education and research is facing increasing criticism for selecting the city of Muenster as the location for a new battery cell research factory. The leaders of the states of Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Lower Saxony have written a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to complain about Anja Karliczek's decision.
"With the decision for Muenster, which will probably entail the lengthy construction of new structures, valuable time will be lost in the race against Germany's competitors," says the letter, a copy of which was seen by dpa.
Germany cannot afford to leave the potential that exists in the cities of Ulm, Augsburg and Salzgitter unused in the future, the state premiers Markus Soeder (Bavaria), Winfried Kretschmann (Baden-Wuerttemberg) and Stephan Weil (Lower Saxony) wrote. They called on Merkel to review the Muenster decision and present "in a transparent and comprehensible manner" its technical rationale.
The German government wants to make up ground in the international competition for battery technology and is boosting research with 500 million euros (565 million dollars) in funding.
Batteries are expected to become increasingly more important in the future. Efficient storage technology is considered an important factor for the environmentally friendly development of the energy and transport sectors.
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