German hard coal plant operators fail to reach agreement with economy ministry
Hard coal plant operators left a meeting with German economy minister Peter Altmaier on Thursday, without any resolution to concerns over the country’s planned coal exit, writes the newsletter Tagesspiegel Background. The hard coal plant operators have criticised the coal exit plan as discriminating between hard coal and lignite plant operators, as the latter will receive compensation payments in return for taking capacity offline. Hard coal capacity reductions will, however, be implemented using auctions until 2026. While the economy ministry said talks had been "very constructive", power plant operators told Tagesspiegel Background that the ministry was not interested in their concerns about the coal exit law possibly being "unconstitutional".
The coal exit law detailing plant shutdowns and compensation payments for coal companies was adopted in January. Hard coal plant operators have criticised the plans, as the relatively late shutdown dates for lignite facilities likely mean earlier closures for hard coal. The government aims to pass final legislation on the coal exit in the first half of this year (2020).