22 Dec 2023, 13:42
Julian Wettengel

German grid agency sees need for back-up coal power plants until March 2031

Die Welt

Germany’s energy regulator BNetzA has said that several coal power plants should remain as a reserve until the end of March 2031 to ensure grid stability in times of need, reports Die Welt. The plants would only act as a reserve when called upon by grid operators, and “they will only run rarely and therefore have no noticeable impact on our carbon footprint,” a spokesperson for the agency told the newspaper. “The intention is still that no coal-fired power plant will be active on the market after 2030.” Several grid operators had called for keeping the plants as backup longer than planned, writes Die Welt. “This is necessary to ensure system stability today and in the years to come,” a spokesperson for grid operator TransnetBW said.

The German government intends to pull forward the coal exit in Germany to 2030, from the current official target of 2038 at the latest. However, state governments in eastern Germany have repeatedly voiced their concerns about an earlier exit, or even rejected it outright. They argue that this could undermine supply security. Whether the federal government’s “ideal” phase-out schedule can be kept will for example depend on the pace of renewable power and grid expansion, as well as the planned construction of new gas power plants. The economy ministry plans to publish a long-delayed evaluation of the coal phase-out’s progress and prospects soon.

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