Germany’s coal commission has made little progress on detailed exit path – reports
Handelsblatt / Tagesspiegel Background
While the government’s financial pledges for mining regions have paved the way for an agreement on structural support, compromise over a phase-out path remains a challenge for Germany’s coal exit commission, reports Klaus Stratmann for Handelsblatt. Sources close to the negotiations told Stratmann there had been no progress on the question of when coal generation will end. “In particular, how many plants can be mothballed in a first step by 2022 is controversial,” Stratmann writes. Environmental NGOs would like 10 gigawatts (GW) of generation capacity taken off line, but utilities and industry say a maximum of 5 to 7 GW is more realistic. There are also stark disagreements over compensation payments to plant operators, Stratmann reports.
Writing for energy news service Tagesspiegel Background, Nora Marie Zaremba says the exit path remains “a hard nut to crack.” The only thing that seems certain is that this first plants to be switched off, by 2022, are in western Germany because they are older and the region’s economy is more resilient, Zaremba writes. But how Germany’s coal capacity is to be cut in half (to 19 GW) by 2030, in line with climate targets, remains unclear. While environmental NGOs have come to see the exit path as more important than the final exit date, they insist the embattled Hambach Forest must be protected.