07 Dec 2021, 12:54
Jessica Bateman

Earlier German coal exit feasible but requires more work to grid system – Amprion

Clean Energy Wire

The new German coalition government’s goal of a 2030 coal exit, eight years earlier than initially planned, will require a massive transformation of the grid if it is to be successful, an analysis by transmission system operator Amprion has found. In a brief analysis, the company advised that the exit date is technically possible, but will require more updates to the current grid infrastructure than what is currently planned as well as reforms of the market and regulatory design. The analysis also showed that part of the to-be-shut-down coal-fired power plant capacities will have to be temporarily transferred to the grid reserve. Amprion CEO Hans-Jürgen Brick said "we need a stable transformation phase on the way to climate neutrality. With a stress test, we must ensure that we not only have sufficient generation available, but also that system stability is maintained.” The company has put together a 10-point recommendation plan for the new federal government. These include a maximum of three years for approval procedures to take place, and for instantaneous reserve capacities to be procured earlier than currently planned.

Germany's new government coalition has agreed to "ideally" move the coal exit forward to 2030, under the condition that power system stability is guaranteed and with the help of new, hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants for back-up. Apart from gas plants and a "massive" expansion of renewable energy capacities, the government wants to shorten planning procedures for new grid connections and evaluate changes to the power market design, such as capacity mechanisms and other flexibility options to ensure supply security during the nuclear and the coal phase-out. The new government also wants to turn the current monitoring of supply security into a "real stress test".

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