Climate plan means half of German coal capacity to retire by 2030 – govt official
The goals in Germany’s climate action plan, agreed by the government in November 2016, mean that half of the country’s coal-fired power capacity must retire by 2030, state secretary in the economy and energy ministry Rainer Baake told a business conference in the run-up to Germany’s largest energy trade-fair E-World in Essen. Baake urged the industry to come up with their own proposals for the necessary process to avoid unwanted regulation.
Speaking at the same event, the head of utility MVV Energie, Georg Müller, said organising the coal phase-out was one of the main tasks ahead for the next government after September’s federal elections. The state secretary, who is in charge of the Energiewende policies at the ministry, stressed that the climate action plan also defined the agenda of the next government in terms of getting the energy system ready to decarbonise sectors such as mobility and heating. While he reiterated the ministry’s positive view of the government’s work over the past 3-1/2 years, he said more should have been done on climate protection as the country looked now likely to miss its 2020 goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990.
In the discussions with industry leaders, Baake also reiterated that payments for fossil-fuel stand-by power plants in a capacity market were unnecessary given current overcapacities. He rejected renewed criticism from industry groups, which has flared up again in the view of a particularly dark and windless German January with little power production from solar and wind installations. Ultimately, the new power market design, allowing sharp price peaks in times of scarce power supply, would provide enough incentives for players to invest in new capacity in the future, Baake said. Former BDEW utilities lobby president Hildegard Müller, now board member at RWE’s renewables spin-off innogy, insisted that Germany would see a capacity market of sorts at some stage.