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10 Oct 2019, 13:46
Freja Eriksen

Coal exit commission members say timely phase-out in danger

Clean Energy Wire / Spiegel Online

Five previous members of Germany's coal exit commission have said they fear that "the timely implementation of the commission's compromise is at risk" in a letter to economy minister Peter Altmaier, made public by Spiegel Online. Although the commission's compromise was presented eight months ago, there is still no draft for a coal phase-out law, lament the signatories who represent Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth (BUND), the German Nature Conservation (DNR), the citizens' initiative Buirer für Buir and the regional association for renewable energies NRW (LEE NRW). The German government has said it will introduce a law in November but the five previous commission members assert this will be "too late to carry out the planned tendering and decommissioning procedures" in order for the first coal-fired power stations to be shut down in 2021. In the coal exit commission's report, a coal capacity reduction of 15 gigawatts for both lignite and hard coal-fired power plants was envisaged as the industry's contribution to Germany's 2020 climate target, they write.

In late January 2019, Germany's coal exit commission agreed on its highly anticipated phase-out proposal and recommended to end coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest. It is now up to the government to mould the proposal into legislative drafts before parliament gets the final say. A recently leaked draft of a planned hard coal exit law indicated that the economy ministry plans to hold tenders to remunerate hard coal plant operators for taking units off the grid early, but only until 2030. Lignite plants will not be required to enter the auctions. Their owners will negotiate on a plant-for-plant basis for government compensation.

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