25 Feb 2019, 13:54
Rachel Waldholz

Germany may depend on neighbours for power during coal and nuclear phase-out


A senior German government official says the country may have to rely on electricity imports from neighbouring countries to avoid blackouts as it simultaneously phases out both coal and nuclear power, Brian Parkin and William Wilkes report for Bloomberg. Germany could take nearly 22 gigawatts (GW) of coal and nuclear capacity offline by 2022, more than 10 percent of the nation’s total power generation, they report. Thomas Bareiss, deputy economy and energy minister, told Bloomberg that retiring that much capacity at once could leave Germany dependent on cross-border cooperation to keep the lights on: “It means thinking ahead and acting in concert in an already active cross-border market,” Bareiss said.

Germany aims to phase out nuclear power by 2022, and the country's coal exit commission has recommended ending the use of coal power by 2038. According to a study on supply security by the environment and energy ministry of southern German economic powerhouse state Baden-Wuerttemberg, ending coal-fired power production as proposed would not endanger power supply in southern Germany, but more imports from northern Germany and neighbouring countries as well as a capacity reserve of two gigawatts would be needed to guarantee supply security. 

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