05 Jun 2024, 13:28
Benjamin Wehrmann

Economy ministry delays report on effects of German coal phase-out to 2025


The German economy ministry will delay the release of a report on the impacts of the country’s coal phase-out on energy security, power prices, and the climate targets, business daily Handelsblatt reported. According to the newspaper, an internal document from state secretary Michael Kellner said the planned report, which is legally required by the coal phase-out law, will likely be delayed to “spring 2025,” which would be almost three years later than its initially planned release in summer 2022. Further reports that are supposed to provide a “scientific foundation” for assessing the coal exit’s impact have been scheduled for release, by law, in 2026, 2029 and 2032. Kellner said the energy crisis, as well as work on the ministry’s forthcoming power plant strategy, have been major factors in delaying the report, Handelsblatt reported. Michael Kruse, energy policy expert for the government coalition party Free Democrats (FDP), said the economy ministry, which is led by Green Party politician Robert Habeck, would violate the coal phase-out law by delaying the report, thereby putting the coal phase-out in danger.

The official end date for the phase-out agreed by the previous government is 2038, but the current coalition under chancellor Olaf Scholz planned to pull the date forward, “ideally” to 2030. Policymakers in coal mining states as well as energy industry representatives have said the earlier target year cannot realistically be achieved if accompanying measures, such as building alternative power plant capacity, are not fast-tracked.

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