20 Jan 2020, 13:34
Freja Eriksen

Decarbonisation not possible "with German wind and solar energy alone" - econ min


Germany's energy transition, the Energiewende, can only succeed with international cooperation, economy minister Peter Altmaier says in an opinion piece in business daily Handelsblatt, following the agreement reached by the government, the German federal states and the utilities last week on a roadmap for shutting down the country's lignite-fired power plants. "We will not achieve the decarbonisation of our economy with German wind and solar energy alone," Altmaier writes, adding that Germany would expand its European and international cooperation in the area over the next years. At some point, the country will reach a limit on the space available for renewables expansion, while it will also need synthetic fuels for its industry, which are better produced elsewhere. With the timetable for the coal exit decided, "a second mammoth energy policy project has thus been launched, making Germany one of the few industrialised countries in the world to opt out of nuclear power and coal in parallel," wrote Altmaier. In the coming months, the minister's focus will be on ensuring the stability of power prices in order to maintain public acceptance, he added.

Germany plans to end coal-fired power generation by 2038 at the latest and has agreed on a shutdown schedule for individual lignite power plants as well as compensation payments for operators. Altmaier said the the agreement means Germany will "end the age of coal-fired power production in a plannable and economically prudent manner." 

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