News Digest Item
16 Nov 2017

Switching off coal plants could benefit grid stability – internal ministry paper

Clean Energy Wire

Germany can take coal plants with a combined capacity of seven gigawatts off grid - and might even improve the security of the power supply by doing so, according to an unofficial document by Germany’s economy & energy ministry (BMWi) and the Federal Grid Agency (BNetzA) seen by the Clean Energy Wire. In a European energy system, supply would be secure even during longer periods of little wind and sunshine in winter, and it would also be safe after the last nuclear power plant shuts down in 2022, the paper says. The paper, by the ministry and the grid agency, goes even further to assert that taking coal capacity off grid might actually improve the grid’s stability because many of the affected plants had a “burdening” effect on it.
A spokesperson said the paper was not part of the ministry's official communication, because it was not coordinated nor agreed upon within the ministry or its leadership. The leak of the paper coincides with the final stretch in exploratory talks to form a new German government, and backs a call by the Green Party to switch off many coal plants in order to reach 2020 climate targets.

For further details, read the article Germany’s aspiring coalition parties disagree over coal exit speed.

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