11 Feb 2019, 14:07
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany could burn more coal despite capacity reduction - economist

Germany shutting down the last of its nuclear power plants by 2022 could force the country to use more coal power - temporarily pushing up emissions - even as the country finally begins to phase out the fossil fuel, Joachim Wille reports for the Frankfurter Rundschau. According to the World Future Council, power production from coal could rise 16 percent to deliver the baseload power previously provided by nuclear plants. This could be achieved by by ramping up production from some existing plants, even as others are taken off the grid as proposed by the coal exit commission, Wille writes. World Future Council’s chief economist, Matthias Kroll, says that delaying the nuclear exit isn’t an option, and argues that Germany ought to expand renewable power production and storage capacities instead of burning more coal. Felix Matthes, Research Coordinator for Energy & Climate policy at the Institute for Applied Ecology, told Frankfurter Rundschau that other calculations do not show rising emissions under the proposed coal phase-out plan.

The coal commission has proposed that the phase-out should be reviewed at several stages over the coming decade to assess its effects on power prices, supply security and carbon emissions. It proposed shutting down the last coal plant by 2038 but said that deadline could be brought forward to 2035 if conditions permit.

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