News
21 Jan 2019, 13:30
Benjamin Wehrmann

Energy minister proposes 2030 review of Germany’s coal exit strategy

Lignite power plant Frimmersdorf in western Germany. Photo: Stodtmeister/wikipedia
Lignite power plant Frimmersdorf in western Germany. Photo: Stodtmeister/wikipedia

dpa / Zeit Online

In order to ensure a secure power supply amid the phase-out of fossil power sources, Germany’s economy and minister Peter Altmaier has proposed a review of the country’s coal exit strategy by 2030, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Zeit Online. Altmaier said that with the country already having to replace generation from nuclear power stations due to be shut down by 2022, in line with Germany’s nuclear phase-out, the country will have to ensure its power supply isn’t compromised as coal is replaced by renewables. Altmaier added that it was equally important that power prices for industry remain competitive. “This concerns both energy intensive-industries and small and medium sized businesses,” Altmaier said.
Greenpeace rejected Altmaier’s idea of a phase-out review. “By 2030, the coal exit has to be completed, not reviewed,” Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace Germany said, arguing that Altmaier’s proposal was in contempt of the Paris Agreement. Kaiser said the Fraunhofer research institute had shown that a 2030 coal exit was feasible, and that it was the only way for Germany to comply with its international climate protection obligations.
According to preliminary data, coal power accounted for 35.3 percent of Germany’s gross power production in 2018, compared to 35.2 percent from renewables. By 1 February, the coal commission is set to present its strategy to end coal-fired power production. The original release date was put back due controversy within the commission over financial aid for coal regions and questions over supply security and power prices.

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